When will we go tough against the polluters who bully laws, and harm people and the environment only for profits? Will the time come after witnessing a disaster or in the beginning of a gradual decline, or must before whole system collapses?
However, in the case of ensuring clean environment, I prefer ‘better late than never’.
But I’ve found that the war against polluters is tougher than campaigning in issues of other sectors. The reason is: the polluters are mostly businessmen with strong ties with politicians, police, administrative officers and the government high-ups, and the enforcement agencies are incapable to handle the situation due to the fast-growing industrialisation, urbanisation and carelessness. And the people, the victims of pollution, are either hopeless or afraid of being perpetrated.
However, only a few people could be found in each area who may form a forum consisting 5-10 members of mixed age so that different views and assistance could be availed in campaigning on the environmental degradation among the citizens and also by assisting the authorities in identifying and penalizing those polluting the environment in different ways, brutally, only for more profit. However, these businessmen can easily afford anti-pollution mechanisms, and improve their goodwill.
From my stance, I always try to inform the authorities and aware the citizens about the facts for which we are facing severe pollution, especially of air and water.
You might can’t imagine that around 500 brickfields are surrounding Dhaka, especially from Basila to Ashulia, which is the best example of the country’s poor execution of laws.
The number of brickfields in these areas has ever been increasing despite being within 50 feet of a highway and rivers Buriganga and Turag.
The law says licences would be issued for brickfields being set up three kilometres away from human habitats, city corporation, municipalities, forests and orchards.
You might have also witnessed the extent of dust and smoke in Aminbazar area. Look left or right in the place between Amin Bazar and Baliarpur and you’ll see chimneys of the traditional brickfields emitting black smoke.
Most of the brickfields near Dhaka do not use coal (few use low quality, imported coal from India) to cut cost. The coal of Barapukuria mine is one of the best qualities available in the world.
The smoke and dust from the border areas of the capital easily reach Hazaribagh, Rayer Bazar, Mohammadpur, Kalyanpur, Gabtoli, Mirpur, Ashulia and Uttara.
I feel ashamed to see the reluctance of the government, especially the Deputy Commissioner who issues licences; the DoE who issues environmental certificate; home, commerce and industries ministries; and the PMO, in removing some of these brickfields amounting to around 50 too close to locality, roads and water body immediately.
The name of PMO arises since it deals with the state’s top guests who in most times are taken to Savar’s National Memorial using the Dhaka-Aricha highway. And whenever the motorcades reach Amin Bazar they witness the shame, and might smile and mock at us.
How about the people coming to the capital from different districts in the north and southwest part of the country? What impression do we give them about our taste? Do the Dhaka people like a necklace of brickfields?