The High Court on Tuesday ordered the demolition of all illegal brick kilns in Dhaka and four other neighbouring districts within 15 days.
The court asked the deputy commissioners of Dhaka, Narayanganj, Munshiganj, Manikganj and Gazipur as well as the director general of the Department of Environment (DoE) to submit an action taken report.
A division bench of justices Md Ashfaqul Islam and Md Iqbal Kabir passed the order in the wake of a plea by environmental NGO Human Rights and Peace for Bangladesh (HRPB) seeking directions on the shutting of illegal brick kilns.
“There is no more chance to remain ignorant as environmental pollution has increased at an alarming rate," the judges observed.
The court also questioned the department's efforts in curbing pollution.
On February 16, the department told the court that a total of 319 illegal brick kilns were running in Dhaka and the four neighbouring districts, while 95 had been closed on the orders of mobile courts.
Petitioner’s lawyer Manzil Murshid said that after the High Court ordered the closure of all illegal brick kilns on November 26, 2020, their owners challenged the order. "But the appellate division rejected the appeal."
Following a slew of recent media reports on Dhaka’s deteriorating air quality, the green NGO submitted a supplementary petition.