Monday, December 21, 2015

Kathmandu Choking

With air pollution hitting hazardous levels in Delhi and Beijing, the respective governments are scrambling to put in place desperate measures to control emissions. But in Nepal’s capital city Kathmandu, which also chokes beneath a blanket of pollution, there is neither data nor any proper information available regarding air quality. The government seems to be in a fog about the presence of harmful pollutants, including particulate matter (PM) and dust particles that could cause cancer, in the air that the Valley denizens are breathing. The level of exposure and extent of threat to public health due to the pollution largely remain unknown.

Kathmandu to Thrashmandu !!

“The winter concentrations of particulate matter, dust, dirt, soot and smoke, along with diesel exhausts, are high,” said Jagadish Bhakta Shrestha, Director General at the Department of Environment (DoE), the authority responsible to make public air pollution status. “However, at the moment, we are not in a position to say the status of air pollution and its effect on public health.”

“We are already overwhelmed with the programmes to implement and with limited human resources and funds, we are unable to priortise our activities,” he added. Various independent researches carried out at different intervals have stated that Kathmandu residents are already “choking”.

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