Air Quality Index: Dhaka world’s 2nd most polluted city
Dhaka was ranked second in the list of cities with the worst air quality. The city's air quality index (AQI) was recorded at 159 around 9:15am yesterday, which is considered "unhealthy".
Kolkata and Mumbai, cities in neighbouring India, occupied the first and third spots, respectively, with an AQI of 193 and 158.
AQI between 100 and 200 is considered "unhealthy for sensitive groups". Similarly, 201 to 300 is said to be "poor", while 301 to 400 is considered "hazardous", posing serious health risks to residents.
Dhaka has long been grappling with air pollution issues. Generally, Dhaka's air starts getting fresher when monsoon rains begin in mid-June. The air remains mostly acceptable from June to October.
According to experts, authorities need to chalk out a special action plan to control Dhaka's terrible dust pollution, as it turns worse every winter, particularly from November to February, posing a serious health hazard to city dwellers.
During winter, the city's air quality starts deteriorating sharply due to massive discharge of pollutant particles from construction sites, rundown roads, brick kilns and other sources, they say.
Ainun Nishat, professor emeritus at Brac University, said dust particles from construction sites, earth filling, black smoke from overloaded motor vehicles and traditional brick kilns located on the outskirts of Dhaka are largely responsible for making the city's air quality worse in winter.
"So, all traditional brick kilns should be modernised as soon as possible," he said.