Environment, Forests and Climate Change Minister Md Shahab Uddin has said the production and use of hollow bricks and blocks will be made mandatory step by step in the country to prevent air pollution.
Besides, several initiatives to encourage the production of environment-friendly hollow bricks and blocks will be taken, he said while addressing the media after the 15th meeting of the executive committee of the national environment committee on Thursday.
Mentioning that the government will take and implement all possible decisions for the development and protection of the environment at any cost, he said initiatives will be taken on how to stop air pollution and those will be included in tender schedules. Besides, steps will be taken to reduce tariffs or provide government incentives for producing hollow bricks. Effective measures will be taken to increase the use of hollow bricks users, he added.
He further said, "To control black smoke, the police and administration also have to work together. Unfit vehicles have to be taken off the road regularly."
He has mentioned the government's decision on solid and medical waste management.
Hospitals and clinics will be instructed to install environmentally friendly incinerators and effluent treatment plants. The government will work to stop polythene and single-use plastics, he added.
To save the environment, the minister said a hill cutting management plan must be approved from the department of environment before cutting a hill and it will be strictly monitored.
The minister said the filling of ponds, ditches, canals, beels, rivers and artificial and natural reservoirs would be discouraged. If it is necessary to fill a waterbody in the national interest, approval has to be obtained from the department of environment. Natural reservoirs, ponds under various ministries, departments and agencies must be conserved and no filling activities can be included in the development plan.
Among others, Agriculture Minister Md Abdur Razzak, State Minister for Shipping Khalid Mahmud Chowdhury, State Minister for Water Resources Zahid Farooq, State Minister for Disaster Management and Relief Md Enamur Rahman and Deputy Minister for Environment, Forests and Climate Change Habibun Nahar, Secretary Ziaul Hasan and Secretary of the Ministry of Housing and Public Works Md Shahid Ullah Khandaker were present on the occasion.