NPC to hold interaction on pollution as Capital chokes

- Post Report, Kathmandu

Jan 10, 2017-

The National Planning Commission (NPC) has said it is organising an interaction with the stakeholders on Wednesday to identify measures to tackle air pollution in Kathmandu. 

The NPC, in coordination with the Department of Environment under the Ministry of Population and Environment (DoEn), is organising the interaction to ensure effective implementation of existing plans and programmes on improving air quality through joint efforts from all concerned, including government agencies. 

There has been growing concern of late over air quality of the Valley this winter, with dust and harmful pollutants emitted from vehicles and brick kilns posing serious threat to public health. 

In recent day, the ongoing road expansion drive and haphazard digging of roadsides to lay the pipelines for the Melamchi Drinking Water Project have but added to woes of Kathmandu denizens who are already breathing toxic air, thanks to ever increasing vehicles in the Capital city. 

The air quality monitoring stations at Ratnapark and Pulchowk have recorded concentration of the PM 2.5 matters almost double the national standard, according to Shankar Paudel,  a senior divisional chemist at the DoEn. 

On Monday, the air quality monitoring station at Ratnapark measured PM 2.5 at 86 µg/m3, while the PM 2.5 concentration at measured by Pulchowk station was 83 µg/m3. The National Ambient Air Quality Standard for PM 2.5 is 40µg/m3.

The concentration levels of toxic air pollutants, which can enter the lungs, get higher during winter due to the Valley’s bowl-shaped structure that holds pollutants released from the vehicular emissions, open burnings and brick kilns in the atmosphere. In addition, the ongoing works related to pipeline installation along major road sections in the Valley have increased the concentration of dust particles in the atmosphere.

Published: 10-01-2017 07:26

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