The High Court yesterday observed that Dhaka city corporation authorities are negligent in curbing pollution and mosquito menace in the capital.
Chief executive officers of Dhaka South City Corporation Mustafizur Rahman and North City Corporation Md Abdul Hye appeared before the court as per its May 5 order, and submitted two separate reports to the HC on the steps to prevent air pollution in the city.
The court said their reports are ambiguous and dissatisfactory, and ordered them to submit reports further specifying the measures they have taken to this effect in detail to the court in a month. It also set June 26 for passing further order on this issue.
The bench of Justice FRM Nazmul Ahasan and Justice KM Kamrul Kader, while hearing a rule issued earlier by the court for preventing pollution in Dhaka city, also expressed dissatisfaction on the two halves of city corporation for not taking effective steps in curbing pollution and mosquito proliferation. It said mosquito-borne diseases like dengue and chikungunya will increase during the upcoming rainy session, if proper measures are not taken right now.
The court also sought separate specific and detailed reports on effective steps taken to curb pollution and pre-monsoon mosquito control in a month.
The court also exonerated CEOs Mostafizur and Abdul Hye from personal appearance before the court.
During the hearing, the court said knee-deep waterlogging takes place in Dhaka after rain, and mosquito menace is felt even on the 20th floor of buildings in the capital. “What are the steps taken by the Dhaka city corporation authorities?” the HC bench questioned.
On a different note, the court said people become injured due to barriers set up on footpaths in the city to stop plying of motorcycles. Footbridges have been constructed on the spaces of footpaths, and roads are dug abruptly in Dhaka city, the court said, adding that if these would take place in foreign countries the authorities would not get allocation of development budget.
The court said it had earlier directed the authorities concerned to act so that on-going development and repair works at construction sites in Dhaka do not further pollute the air and also ordered authorities concerned to spray water twice a day at the dust affected areas in the city, but proper implementation of the directives is not seen.
“The then DNCC mayor Annisul Huq had taken some good initiatives to curb pollution and mosquito menace in Dhaka. We hope the new mayor will continue to implement the initiatives,” bench said.
During the proceedings, writ petitioner’s lawyer told the HC that the compliance reports of the city corporation authorities were not submitted to the HC through due process of law, and are ambiguous.
Following the same petition filed by Human Rights and Peace for Bangladesh (HRPB), the HC on January 28 ordered director general of Department of Environment to take steps to conduct mobile court twice a week against those responsible for air pollution in Dhaka.
Advocate Nurunaher Akter appeared for the city corporations, while Deputy Attorney General ABM Abdullah-Al Mahmud Bashar represented the state.