Bangladesh’s capital Dhaka ranked 5th among cities with worst air quality on Wednesday morning.
It had a score of 191 at 10:50 am in the Air Quality Index (AQI). The air was classified as ‘unhealthy’.
Afghanistan’s Kabul, India’s Delhi, China’s Beijing and Nepal’s Kathmandu occupied the top four positions in the list of cities with worst air with AQI scores of 312, 301, 248 and 232 respectively.
When the AQI score is between 151 and 200, everyone may experience health effects while members of sensitive groups may experience more serious health effects.
The AQI, an index for reporting daily air quality, informs people how clean or polluted the air of a certain city is, and what associated health effects might be a concern for them.
In Bangladesh, the AQI is based on five criteria pollutants - Particulate Matter (PM10 and PM2.5), NO2, CO, SO2 and Ozone (O3). The Department of Environment has also set national ambient air quality standards for these pollutants. These standards aim to protect against adverse human health impacts.
Dhaka has long been grappling with air pollution. The air quality usually improves during monsoon.
Last month, the High Court issued a nine-point directive to bring down air pollution level in Dhaka and ordered the Department of Environment (DoE) to conduct mobile court drives twice a week to take legal action against those responsible for air pollution in the capital.
The court also directed the Public Administration Ministry to appoint five executive magistrates for DoE within one month for conducting mobile courts.