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23 February, 2019 00:00 00 AM
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Barishal air least polluted among cities in country

BSS, Dhaka
Barishal air least polluted among cities in country

The southwestern Barishal earned the repute of having relatively cleaner air currently as air quality indicators suggest a grim picture for several other major cities, including the capital Dhaka.

“Residents of Barishal city now appeared to be lucky (as) they are breathing comparatively cleaner air in comparison to other cities in the current dry season,” an environment department (DoE) official told BSS while providing the latest air quality data.

DoEs Clean Air and Sustainable Environment (CASE) project’s director Dr Manzurul Hannan Khan said the Air Quality Index (AQI) of February 19 measured Barishal’s AQI to be 164 while with AQI 328, the situation of Narayanganj appeared the worst among the cities.

The index being released on pilot basis under the environment department’s CASE Project shows that the AQI of Gazipur is 324 and Dhaka is AQI 317. In official terms the air quality of these three cities are “extremely unhealthy”.

The AQI of Rajshahi city was measured to be AQI 224 which is categorized as “very unhealthy”.

The data shows the port city of Chattogram, Khulna and Sylhet are in a better position with AQI 179, AQI 193 and AQI 196 respectively. According to the DoE set standard the moderate AQI ranges between 51 and 100. The officials attributed the poor AQI to unchecked pollution generated from various sources including vehicles and brick kilns.

Khan said cities with better AQI have huge green cover and lesser number of air polluting industries. The AQI is a tool for reporting daily air quality of any city or country and suggests health effects that one might experience within a few hours or days after breathing polluted air.

Officials said in Bangladesh, the AQI is based on five criteria pollutants – Particulate Matter (PM10 and PM2.5), NO2, CO, SO2 and Ozone (O3) as the DoE set national ambient air quality standards for these pollutants.

The AQI standard is regarded “good” for Bangladesh if it ranges between 0 to 50 while it becomes “unhealthy” if it ranges between 151 to 200, “very unhealthy” when the figure exceeds 200 and “extremely unhealthy” if the count exceeds 300.

With the advent of dry season air quality starts deteriorating due to lack of rainfalls causing unchecked discharge of dust from construction works and release of pollutants from vehicles and industries like brick kilns.

Experts say road dust became the biggest source of pollution in cities and towns during the dry season for various unplanned construction works. The air pollution originating from construction work-related processes like concrete crushing, cement batching and road stone plants, is contributing to the air pollution.

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Editor : M. Shamsur Rahman

Published by the Editor on behalf of Independent Publications Limited at Media Printers, 446/H, Tejgaon I/A, Dhaka-1215.
Editorial, News & Commercial Offices : Beximco Media Complex, 149-150 Tejgaon I/A, Dhaka-1208, Bangladesh. GPO Box No. 934, Dhaka-1000.

Editor : M. Shamsur Rahman
Published by the Editor on behalf of Independent Publications Limited at Media Printers, 446/H, Tejgaon I/A, Dhaka-1215.
Editorial, News & Commercial Offices : Beximco Media Complex, 149-150 Tejgaon I/A, Dhaka-1208, Bangladesh. GPO Box No. 934, Dhaka-1000.

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