Valley’s air quality worsens

- Post Report, Kathmandu

Dec 31, 2016-

The cold along with the unmanaged road expansion drive and roadside construction has shot up the concentration levels of the harmful dust particles in Kathmandu Valley’s air, posing a serious health risk to the public. 

The air quality monitoring station in Ratnapark measured the concentration of smaller particulate PM 2.5 matters at 98 µg/m3 in the past 24 hours, double the national standard set by the government. Similarly, another station at Pulchowk measured PM 2.5 concentration at 87 µg/m3 over the same period. The National Ambient Air Quality Standards set limits at 120µg/m3 for PM 10 and 40µg/m3 for PM 2.5.

The air pollution in Kathmandu worsens during winter when concentration levels of toxic air pollutants, which can enter the lungs, get higher due to Valley’s bowl-shaped structure that holds pollutants released from the vehicular emissions, open burnings and brick kilns in the atmosphere. 

The ongoing construction works related with laying of water supply pipes in major road sections in the Valley and open burnings of waste materials have spiked the concentration levels of the dust particles and other pollutants. 

Works of the Melamchi Drinking Water Supply Project--laying supply pipelines--are going on at full swing at various road-sections in the core areas of the Valley, including the Koteshwor-Tinkune section. 

“There is no immediate remedy to the deteriorating air quality situation in the Valley. The wind movement and winter rains will help settle the pollutants to the surface to some extent,” said Shankar Prasad Paudel, senior divisional chemist at the Department of Environment under the Ministry of Population and Environment.

Published: 31-12-2016 08:15

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