PEOPLE of Dhaka city are no doubt grateful for the measure that led to the withdrawal from the roads of the worst air polluters: autorickshaws with two stroke engines running on a cocktail of petrol and mobil. Reportedly, the air quality in Dhaka city improved by as much as 25 per cent since the eviction of these polluting vehicles from the city. This was no small gain. But clearly the gain needs to be only further increased. It appears that air quality in the city is again declining due to the operation of other polluting vehicles. Steps, therefore, need to be taken against such vehicles on an urgent basis.
Especially, the polluting buses should now be targeted and taken off the roads. It appears that many buses-unfit for road under the new regulations-are still plying after their operators could somehow get certificates afresh from the road transport authority that they are fit for plying. But these vehicles can be caught and discouraged from operating through tougher law enforcement.
If only the traffic policemen try to stop the polluting vehicles regularly in sufficient number throughout the city and apply stringently the existing rules and regulations against them, including fines, then such sincere actions on their part would persuade the owners of defective vehicles to take care to keep the engines and exhaust systems in good conditions to limit the emission of polluting fumes. This, in turn, would have a salutary effect in further reducing air pollution.