Concerned agencies told to take steps to improve air quality

- Post Report, Kathmandu

Jan 13, 2017-

The Office of the Prime Minister and Council of Ministers (OPMCM) has directed the concerned government agencies and departments to come up with a concrete action plan to mitigate risks to which the general public has been exposed as air quality continues to deteriorate in Kathmandu Valley and other urban areas. 

During the 47th meeting of the Central Monitoring and Evaluation Committee chaired by Chief Secretary Som Lal Subedi at the OPMCM, air pollution figured as one of the key issues. 

Authorities expressed their serious concerns over the increasing concentration of harmful pollutants and dust particles in the atmosphere that are detrimental to public health. 

The committee’s meeting directed the concerned authorities to prepare concrete work plans and ensure effective implementation to control the emissions of the pollutants and dust particles at the earliest. In addition, it also called for effective coordination among the concerned agencies involved in development activities in urban areas to manage construction activities and complete ongoing projects on time. 

On Wednesday, another meeting of the stakeholders organised by the National Planning Commission in coordination with the Department of Environment also prioritised air pollution in the Valley and held discussions on measures to mitigate the risks of poor air. 

The meeting has directed all the concerned government agencies to come up with immediate measures to improve air quality within two weeks.

During winter the concentration level of toxic particles increases in the Valley, and this year, the ongoing road expansion drive and digging of roadsides to lay the pipelines for the Melamchi Drinking Water Project have increased the concentration of dust particles that can directly enter the respiratory system, causing serious health complications.  

A 2005 report published by the Ministry of Environment found that winter concentrations of particulate matter, minute airborne solid particles and liquid droplets that cause pollution in Kathmandu’s air were comparable to those in some of the worst polluted cities like New Delhi and Beijing. 

Published: 13-01-2017 08:39

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