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AQI: Dhaka on top list among unhealthy air quality

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Once again, Dhaka has emerged as the global leader in cities with the most dire air quality, registering an Air Quality Index (AQI) of 174 at 9:20 am on Tuesday.

This air quality status has been categorized as ‘unhealthy’, based on the ranking that assesses air quality and pollution in cities.

An AQI falling between 151 and 200 falls within the ‘unhealthy’ range, while a range of 201-300 is considered ‘very unhealthy’, and any value surpassing 301 is labeled ‘hazardous’, signifying critical health hazards for residents.

Securing the second and third positions on the list are Dubai in the United Arab Emirates, with an AQI of 166, and Jakarta in Indonesia, scoring 160 on the AQI scale.

The AQI serves as a crucial indicator that communicates the daily air quality status, providing insights into the level of pollution in a given city and its potential health implications.

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PM Sheikh Hasina Distributes Relief to Cyclone Remal Victims in Patuakhali

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Hasina PM Sheikh PM to Declare 12 More Districts Landless, Homeless-Free This Wednesday

Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina distributed relief materials to the victims of Cyclone Remal in Patuakhali district on 30 May.

The relief distribution event took place at Government Mojahar Uddin Biswas Degree College in Kolapara, organized by the district administration.

Earlier, the Prime Minister conducted an aerial survey of the Mathbaria and Pathorghata areas in Patuakhali district to assess the damage caused by the cyclone. She arrived at the helipad next to Khepupara Govt Model Secondary School in Kalapara at 12:20pm, following a one-and-a-half-hour helicopter ride from Dhaka.

Mathbaria and Pathorghata in Kalapara were severely affected when the cyclone hit the Bangladesh coast on Sunday, originating from the Bay of Bengal.

The Prime Minister’s helicopter flew low over the affected areas, allowing her to closely inspect the devastation caused by tidal surges and heavy rains that washed away embankments, fish farms, and toppled houses and trees along the coast.

The cyclone resulted in at least 16 deaths and numerous injuries, despite a significant evacuation effort to cyclone shelters, which was closely monitored by the Prime Minister from Dhaka.

Following the relief distribution, Sheikh Hasina visited the Shaheed Sheikh Kamal Bridge on the Patuakhali-Kuakata road. She then met with divisional level officials to review the relief operations and discuss the immediate rehabilitation needs of the affected population.

Concluding her day-long visit to the region, the Prime Minister is scheduled to return to Dhaka at 3pm.

Cyclone Remal claimed lives and caused extensive damage, destroying over 35,000 homes and seriously affecting more than 3.7 million people across 19 districts. The storm made landfall near Khepupara in Patuakhali, with wind speeds reaching up to 130kmph on Sunday evening.

In Patuakhali alone, around 327,000 people were affected, with 235 houses completely destroyed and 1,865 partially damaged, according to official sources. The agricultural sector suffered losses exceeding Tk 260 million, while the fishery sector’s losses were estimated at over Tk 280 million.

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PM Sheikh Hasina Hails Bangladesh as a Role Model for Global Peace

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Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina declared today that Bangladesh has become a role model in global peacekeeping, urging for the cessation of ongoing wars and advocating for dialogue to resolve conflicts, redirecting funds from arms races to human welfare.

“Bangladesh is a dependable name in the efforts of protecting peace and safety alongside establishing global peace. We are acknowledged by all and have become a role model on the global stage,” she stated.

The Prime Minister made these remarks while addressing an event at the Bangabandhu International Conference Centre (BICC) marking the International Day of UN Peacekeepers 2024.

She noted that 6,092 Bangladeshi peacekeepers, including 493 women, are serving with distinction in 13 UN peacekeeping missions.

“Our peacekeepers are working with fame and glory,” she said, adding that heads of state and government where Bangladeshi peacekeepers are deployed have highly praised their efforts.

“I feel really proud hearing the appreciation,” she continued.

Sheikh Hasina emphasized that Bangladesh follows the ideals of Father of the Nation Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman in its pursuit of global peace.

“We are actively participating in other international forums alongside the UN peacekeeping missions to establish global peace,” she said.

She recalled that Bangladesh’s “Culture of Peace” proposal was unanimously adopted by the UN in 1999, leading to the declaration of the year 2000 as the “International Year of the Culture of Peace.”

The Prime Minister highlighted Bangabandhu’s role as an envoy of peace and a voice for the oppressed, which earned him the “Joliot Curie Peace Medal” on May 23, 1973.

Sheikh Hasina commended Bangladeshi peacekeepers for their dedication to protecting civilians, human rights, and establishing peace globally, noting that they have shared Bangladeshi culture and language with the communities they serve.

“The people of those countries have given you untold love and affection,” she said.

“Overall, our professionalism, efficiency, and commitment in establishing global peace have set an example for others,” she continued, urging peacekeepers to continue their efforts to enhance Bangladesh’s reputation further.

She paid tribute to the 168 Bangladeshi peacekeepers who lost their lives and the 266 who were severely injured in the line of duty.

Chief of Army Staff General S M Shafiuddin Ahmed, Senior Foreign Secretary Masud Bin Momen, and United Nations Resident Coordinator Gwyn Lewis also spoke at the event. The program began with a minute of silence to honor the fallen peacekeepers.

A video documentary showcasing the achievements of Bangladeshi peacekeepers in UN missions was screened, and the Prime Minister handed out awards to three injured peacekeepers.

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Dhaka Wasa to Raise Water Prices by 10% from July 1

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The Dhaka Water Supply and Sewerage Authority (Wasa) has announced a 10% increase in water prices effective from July 1.

According to the new pricing structure, the residential rate per unit (1,000 liters) will rise to Tk16.7, up from Tk15.18, while the commercial rate will increase to Tk46.2, up from Tk42.

A notification issued on Wednesday (May 30) stated, “Dhaka Wasa’s respected customers are hereby informed that the prices were adjusted due to inflation according to section 22 of the Wasa Act 1996.”

The notification further mentioned, “This decision will also apply to unmetered holdings, deep tube wells, buildings under construction, and all types of (water and sewage) charges, including minimum bills. The notification is published as per section 23 of the Wasa Act 1996.”

In July 2022, Wasa had raised water prices by 5%, with the new rates becoming effective from September 1.

“According to the law, Wasa can raise water tariffs by 5% every year to adjust with inflation, and Wasa hiked the price as per the law,” said Dip Azad, a member of the Dhaka Wasa board.

Section 22 of the Dhaka Wasa Act-1996 permits the authorities to increase water tariffs by a maximum of five percent each fiscal year upon the board’s approval.

In 2017, water prices were Tk10 per unit for residential consumers and Tk32 for commercial users. Wasa implemented a five percent price hike for three consecutive years starting from 2017. In 2020, residential water prices saw a 25% increase following government approval.

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