DoE sets up first of proposed 12 air quality monitoring stations in Valley

- Anup Ojha, Kathmandu

Jul 18, 2016-

Amid growing public concern over the deteriorating air quality and laxity of the government to monitor the air pollution, the Department of Environment (DoE) has set up an automated air quality monitoring station inside Shantibatika, Ratnapark.

The station, which was installed on Friday, will come into operation from July 27. 

DoE Spokesperson Shankar Prasad Paudel said a group of German technicians is set to arrive to run the system as well as teach the Nepali team about it.  

The station will monitor PM 2.5, fine particles in the air that can enter directly into the lungs and impact human health. 

“The installation of monitoring stations will help us to identify the sources of pollutants as well as level of concentration of harmful pollutants in the air and help us to come up with measures to mitigate the air pollution,” Paudel said. 

He added that the station will also provide the information on how Kathmandu is faring in ambient air quality. 

Although the Valley had seven air quality monitoring stations installed with the support of Danish International Development Agency in 2002, they stopped operating in 2006. 

Authorities have been unable to come up with the measures to address the concern of deteriorating air condition inside the Valley due to lack of proper monitoring mechanism. 

An independent study done by Nepali researcher Anobha Gurung during in 2014 has stated that the level of PM2.5 was measured at over 500 micrograms per cubic metre, 20 times more than the WHO’s safe upper limit.

Similarly, a latest pollution index published by Serbia-based research website Numbeo.com has ranked Kathmandu in the third position of the pollution ranking, with a pollution index of 96.66. 

The DoE has a plan of installing 12 air quality monitoring stations inside Kathmandu Valley. The project will be supported by Kathmandu Metropolitan City (KMC) and International Centre for Integrated Mountain Development (Icimod).

Published: 18-07-2016 09:49

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