Chittagong port is responsible for an alarming amount of 29 lac and 50 thousand tons of carbon emission yearly.
This horrific results on the air quality of the Chittagong port was revealed in a recent research that is being carried out for the first time in 130 years after the commissioning of the port. At least a number of 5 thousands of truck, lorry and covered-van gather in the reserved area of the port for loading and unloading goods. Again, aged and traditional delivery and traffic system, outdated ships, cars and diesel powered equipment all are combinedly polluting the environment of the port, said that report.
The study was conducted for a duration of 6 months; within this period the port was recorded to be responsible for an emission of 14 lac 72 thousand and 512.34 tons of carbon. Trucks entering the restricted or reserved area of the port were found to be the biggest contributor of carbon emission, as the study found that, trucks alone have emitted around 13 lac tons of carbon di oxide. Other polluting agents like nitrogen oxide, particular material, sulfur di oxide, black carbon and carbon mono oxide were also found at the port. Pollution at this alarming level has made the working environment risky for the workers of the port.
The research was led by Professor Dr. Mohammad Al Amin, the faculty of the Department of Forest and Environmental Science of Chittagong University. He was accompanied by two of his masters’ student named Aklima Akter and Abir Dey. The research was began on July, 2016 with an assistance from United Nations Environment Agency and they continued to collect data up to the December of the same year. The research report is already delivered to the high officials of the port authority.
Chief coordinator of this research work, Mohammad Al Amin said that, this is for the first time in the history of Chittagong port, a such kind of research is carried out on. The presence of five major polluting gas is found in this study, which are mostly emitted from the trucks and ships fired by diesel. However, he suggested using more green and electrical components in the port rather using diesel-powered equipment including using generators in the ported ships.
The study says, vehicles and huge ships are mostly polluting the environment of the port. Out of the total carbon emitted by all the polluters, black carbon weighed 46.82 tons, sulfur di-oxide weighed 392.59 tons, carbon mono oxide weighed 616.14 tons and nitrogen oxide weighed 366.64 tons. Trucks alone have emitted 12 lac 85 thousand 472 tons of carbon di oxide and 894.38 tons of nitrogen oxide.
Rear Admiral M Khaled Iqbal, the chairman of the Chittagong Port Said that, a number of truck and ship enter at the port facility and other diesel-run equipment are emitting polluting gases. However, this kind of study will surely help us to address such problems, he said.
David Rubaiya, the coordinator of the research and the representative of UN environment agency said that, the UN environment agency has been conducting such researches in five different countries including Bangladesh. This kind of research would help us to understand the level of pollution of the ports, she added. However, she also said that, the UN hasn’t yet determined any safe limit of the polluting gas in the ports. According to World Health Organization, more than 25 cubic meter of particular matter (dust) is unsafe for health.
Md. Jafarf Alam, the member (admin and planning) of the Chittagong Port authority said that, 25-30 years old ships are polluting the environment of the port mostly. The entry of these type of ships will be restricted, he said. An independent monitoring cell will also be formed to examine the air quality frequently, he added.
The study recommended a few things to reduce the pollution. They recommended for less dock-stay time for ships, eliminating outdated ships and cars, using electricity instead of generators, planting more trees, restricting the use of diesel and overall automation in the port and more.