Published: Friday 30 April 1999

Air pollution in the congested Bangladeshi capital Dhaka is responsible for a large number of premature deaths and is affecting several million people a year, a World Bank official has said. "We estimate that air pollution in Dhaka causes some 15,000 premature deaths and several million cases of sickness every year," World Bank country director Fred Temple said in a seminar. "The affluent as well as the polluted air, traffic congestion and poor infrastructure services are choking the city's economic growth and diminishing the quality of life," he said. Temple said 70 per cent of the city's population of nine million lived in poverty.

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