Environment dept to set up unit to control air pollution

- Post Report, Kathmandu

Apr 5, 2018-

The Department of Environment (DoE) is set to establish a separate unit to deal with air pollution in the Kathmandu Valley. The Dust Control Unit under Shankar Prasad Paudel, senior divisional chemist at the department, has been directed to start its work immediately by Forest and Environment Minister Shakti Basnet. Vehicle emission and constructions projects have led to deteriorating air quality in the Valley.


“The new unit will be fully-dedicated to controlling dust coming from construction project sites,” Paudel said. “The department will be mobilising environment inspectors to monitor the sites where construction projects are under way.” 


To control pollution caused by vehicle emissions, the DoE is already conducting random vehicle emission test with the support of the Department of Transport Management (DoTM) and the Metropolitan Traffic Police Division (MTPD). 


Since the test was first launched on 29 November 2017, a total of 1,234 vehicles have undergone the emission test. DoE Director General Durga Dawadi said 565 vehicles were booked for failing the test.


Sharing the progress report of the department for the fiscal year 2017-18, Dawadi said the DoE has conducted environmental monitoring and field inspection of 70 industries, including 13 cement industries, nine food manufactures, seven fermentation or brewery industries, six hotels, four feeder producers, three hotels and two hospitals. 


Among them, 16 industries had failed to meet the standards. Five industries-- Araniko Cement Industries Pvt Ltd, Kamala Rolling Mills Pvt Ltd, Kathmandu Dairy Distribution Project, Shree Harati Aggregate Industries Pvt Ltd and Shree Bishnu Textiles Processing Industry-- were penalised for polluting the environment.


According to Dawadi, the department was gearing up to install four more air-quality monitoring stations in the running FY. In 2017, the department had installed four stations inside the Kathmandu Valley and three in Pokhara. 


“We have discovered a trend in air pollution where it goes down from April to August before rising again. The pollution level is worst during the months of January and February,” said Dawadi.  

Published: 05-04-2018 07:34

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