The High Court on Tuesday ordered the government to form a high-powered committee headed by the forest, the environment and the climate change secretaries to formulate a guideline to curb air pollution in Dhaka.
The court also ordered the government to submit a report regarding the formulation of the guideline within 30 days.
A High Court bench comprising of Justice F.R.M. Nazmul Ahasan and Justice K.M. Kamrul Kader passed the order based on a writ petition asking for its directives to curb Dhaka's air pollution.
The court also ordered the authorities to shut down all illegal brick kilns in and around Dhaka, including Narayanganj, Munshiganj, Manikganj and Gazipur, within 15 days to curb air pollution.
The High Court has set January 5 next year for the next hearing on the petition filed by Human Rights and Peace for Bangladesh.
Additionally, the court issued five directives to keep the rising dust clouds under control by spraying water on the main streets and deploying mobile courts to stop activities that pollute the air in the capital.
Some key points in the five directives are –
The court asked the authorities to cover-up the sites that are being developed to curb pollutants escaping into the atmosphere.
The mayors and chief executive officers of the two city corporations have been directed to spray water twice a day in areas where development and renovation work is underway, and in areas prone to dust.
Lawyer Manzil Morshed moved for the writ petition while Deputy Attorney General ABM Abdullah Al Mahmud Bashar stood for the state.
Advocate Sayeed Ahmed Raja and Toufiq Enam Tipu represented Dhaka's two city corporations.
On January 21 this year, Human Rights and Peace for Bangladesh filed the writ petition and included various reports published in the media on air pollution in Dhaka.
On January 28 this year, the High Court ordered the Department of the Environment (DoE) to deploy mobile courts twice a week to take legal action against those responsible for polluting the air in the capital.
Advocate Manzil Morshed, a lawyer for the writ petitioner, said that the court, on that day, also issued a rule asking the government to explain why the apathy of the local administration over preventing air pollution should not be declared illegal, and why the authorities should not be directed to take effective measures to prevent air pollution in the capital.
The mayors of the two city corporations, executive officers and the DoE director general were asked to submit a report within two weeks on implementation of the court order.
The court also summoned the director general of the DoE and the executive officers of the two city corporations of Dhaka.
In the writ petition, Human Rights and Peace for Bangladesh submitted a report by the World Health Organization (WHO) on air pollution.
The report stated that last year, Dhaka's air was ranked as the third most polluted in the world, according to air quality data compiled by the WHO for megacities with a population of 14 million or more.
The DoE and the city corporations submitted reports to the High Court on Tuesday on the measures they have taken to curb air pollution in Dhaka.