HC slams city authorities for failure to make Dhaka livable

Prothom Alo English Desk | Update:

High-CourtApparently expressing its displeasure over air pollution, mosquito menace and repeated digging of roads in the capital, the High Court on Wednesday said two city corporations have negligence to make Dhaka as a liveable city, reports UNB.

“You’re damaging road dividers which are good in condition and constructing those anew after a few days on a regular basis. Why’re so many breakdowns? You’re taking money from city dwellers but not providing them with adequate facilities,” the High Court said pointing at the chief executive officers of the two city corporations.

Dhaka North City Corporation (DNCC) CEO Abdul Hai and Dhaka South City Corporation (DSCC) CEO Mostafizur Rahman appeared before the bench of justice FRM Nazmul Ahasan and justice KM Kamrul Kader in compliance with its earlier order to explain reports on steps taken to check air pollution in their respective areas.

The court also asked them to submit fresh reports by 26 June describing their measures taken to control air pollution and mosquito menace.

“You’re the servants of the republic. You must abide by laws and court orders. Your, our and all’s salaries are paid from taxpayers’ money. You’re provided with houses and cars with their money. You must be made accountable if you don’t follow rules and laws,” it said addressing the CEOs.

The court said there is waterlogging in Dhaka whenever there is any rain. “How will it go if everything doesn’t run properly and if the city can’t be made liveable even after around 50 years of the country’s independence?”

Only spraying water to prevent dusk pollution is not enough but a waste management is a must, it said.

Steps should be taken immediately to curb mosquito menace or else city dwellers will be infected with dengue and chikungunya, the court said, adding that Dhaka city must be made liveable for the future generation.

It also lauded late DNCC mayor Annisul Huq for his initiatives, expressing the hope that its new mayor will carry those forward.

Human Rights and Peace for Bangladesh filed a writ petition on 27 January last over the air pollution caused by multiple under-construction development projects in the city.

On 28 January, the HC ordered the Department of Environment (DoE) to conduct mobile court drives twice a week to take legal actions against those responsible for air pollution in the capital.

The court had also asked the authorities concerned to take steps to surround areas undergoing development and repair works within the next 15 days to prevent the dust swirling. It had ordered to spray water in ‘dusk-prone’ areas twice a day.

The mayors of the two city corporations, their CEOs and the DoE director general were asked to submit a report by 13 March.

However, the two city corporations failed to produce any paper before the court on whether they complied with its order.

On 5 May, the High Court summoned the chief executive officers (CEOs) of two Dhaka city corporations asking them to appear before it on 15 May to explain their reports on steps taken to check air pollution in their respective areas.

The court passed the order after expressing their dissatisfaction as proper information on the steps taken over air pollution was absent in the report.

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