Dhaka's microclimate worsening fast | The Daily Star
12:00 AM, November 29, 2018 / LAST MODIFIED: 01:14 AM, November 29, 2018

Dhaka's microclimate worsening fast

Speakers at workshop blame lack of proper action plan

Speakers at a workshop yesterday were of the view that due to a lack of proper action plan, Dhaka city's microclimate situation is rapidly worsening, making a major impact on its development and habitation.

They said many plans were taken for the development of Dhaka but most of those remained unimplemented.

“None, but one action plan of 1959 centring Dhaka city's coordinated development witnessed implementation,” Iqbal Habib, member secretary of Bangladesh Poribesh Andolon, said while speaking at the workshop held at BIISS Auditorium in the city.

Bangladesh Institute of International and Strategic Studies (BIISS) organised the workshop, titled “Mitigation strategies for the urban microclimate of Dhaka megacity to reduce adverse climate change impact”, with Professor Tawhida Rashid, chairman of Department of Meteorology at Dhaka University.

The function was also addressed by Planning Commission Member (General Economics) Prof Shamsul Alam, eminent environmentalist Dr Atiq Rahman, BIISS Director General Maj Gen AKM Abdur Rahman, Dhaka University Prof Abdus Salam, Prof Kazi Maruful Haque, East West University Prof AK Enamul Haque, and Green Savers Association President Ahsan Rony.

The keynote presentation was made by Dr Ashraf Dewan of Curtin University of Australia and three members of a project study team at the workshop.

In the presentation, it was said that Dhaka will be the 4th largest megacity, considering its population, on the planet by 2025 but due to a lack of proper action plan, its microclimate situation is deteriorating fast.

Dr Atiq Rahman said water, energy and food management have to be in a coordinated manner as everything related to environment is linked to the three.

An official of the Bangladesh Meteorological Department informed the workshop that his office has set up 200 air quality monitoring stations across the city.

He said some more stations will be set up soon.

Iqbal Habib said Dhaka's population grew enormously since independence while it lost greenery, ponds, and canals. But no action plan was implemented to recover the lost water bodies although it is still possible to recover those.

Prof Maruful Haque said the government undertakes too many policies and plans. However, little has been implemented. The lack of implementation has huge costs.

Prof Shamsul Alam said that Dhaka city's air quality is reaching a dangerous level and many diseases are the result of that.

He said the government has undertaken an 81-year Delta Plan to deal with environment and other issues, adding that the Delta Plan 2100 will be upgraded every five years to accommodate the emerging issues.

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