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Dhaka city - an environmental report
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Environmental pollution: the question of human right
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Dhaka city - an environmental report
By Raziur Rahman
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Residents of Dhaka, the Bangladesh capital with about 10 million people, are exposed to environmental hazards and this situation is worsening day by day.
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In a city already overloaded with population, more people from all over the country are coming with desperate bid to settle. The influx of population has resulted in not only high density, but also growth of slums in a more alarming way.
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Black smoke-emitting vehicles, especially two-stroke engines, coupled with absence of green in the city have been contributing to the severe air pollution in the mega city.
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At present, more than three lacks (0.3 million) motor vehicles are running on the city roads. But due to shortage of manpower as well as negligence on the part of the concerned authorities, a large number of 'unfit' motor vehicles are running that is one of the main reasons behind the air pollution in the capital.
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The management of different kinds wastes - solid, clinical, human, industrial and others - is very poor and the issues are not being addressed properly.
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About 400 tons out of 3,500 tons of solid waste, generated in the city everyday, remains on the road and in open spaces. Vehicles of Dhaka City Corporation (DCC) removes the rest solid waste and carries those to its dumping grounds, which are again located in open spaces, contributing to air and water pollution in the areas in the immediate vicinity of Dhaka city.
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Most of the tannery Industries in the city's Hazaribagh area and some other industries at Tejgaon area leave hazardous industrial waste untreated.
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Experts fear that in near future the untreated waste of Tejgaon Industrial area might severely pollute the underground water, which is still only source of supply water in the city.
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Meanwhile, the inadequate and faulty sewerage network in the city is unable to carry about half of the total sewage to the only sewage treatment plant at Pagla in Narayanganj. The city generates about 1.2 lacks cubic metres of sewage everyday.
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A huge quantity of sewage oozing out of the city's faulty sewerage network is severely polluting the city's canals, water bodies and the Buriganga river.
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Dhaka is almost twice as loud as the law permits, creating an unhealthy environment for residents, say scientists from the Department of Environment.
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According to scientists, noise levels should remain below 70 decibels in the commercial areas, 65 decibels in the industrial areas and 50 decibels in the residential areas. Noise in sensitive areas, such as hospitals, clinics and schools, should remain below 45 decibels.
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However, two studies conducted in the last three years suggested average noise levels were almost double than permissible levels and rising fast.
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