The quality of air in the major cities of the country has become a major concern of the people. Among the cities Dhaka is the worst affected and air pollution is threatening environment and city-dwellers. The state of air pollution of Dhaka does not easily match with the statistics of country's socio-economic situation, agriculture based economy and slow pace of urbanization, Bangladesh still remains among the least developed countries (LDCs). Eighty percent of the 123 million people still live in the villages. The total industrial units are about 30000 of which 24000 are cottage. Until 1995, the total registered automobiles were 343371.
The population of Dhaka is now around 10 million. In 1950 Dhaka was inhabited by 430000 people, in 1965 the figure rose to 1 million; in 1975 2.3 million, in 1985 4.8 million and in 1989 it became 6.5 million. After independence the importance of Dhaka city has increased many fold. But most of the development with respect to the growth of industrial and commercial establishment has happened unplanned. None of the industry is equipped with any kind of emission control system.
Over the past several years major efforts have been to remedy the lack of reliable data on air pollution to Government as a basis for sound decision-making and formulation of policy. Dhaka is a very congested city with little space for locating industry, handling materials and providing for transportation. As a consequence and because potentially discharges can arise in manufacturing processes and because of the known problems of polluting emissions from motor vehicles, emphasis has to be laid on realistic planning, provision of air pollution abatement equipment and the exercise of air quality management techniques.