Department of Environment (DoE) is set to launch a plan, Air Pollution Control Action Plan, to deal with air pollution in the Kathmandu Valley. The Air Pollution Control Action Plan is under the authority of Shankar Prasad Paudel, a senior divisional chemist at DoE. He has been directed to start the plan immediately by the minister of Ministry of Forest and Environment, Shakti Basnet.
As stated by Mr. Paudel, “The new unit will be fully-dedicated to controlling dust coming from construction project sites.” There will be inspectors to monitor the sites where construction projects are underway and will be mobilizing the environment. 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, a total number of 1,234 vehicles have undergone the emission test. DoE Director General, Durga Dawadi stated that a total number of 565 failed the test. Sharing the progress report of the department for the fiscal year 2017-18, “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”, said Duwadi.
“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. “Among them, 16 industries had failed to meet the standards and the department was gearing up to install four more air-quality monitoring stations in the running FY,” stated Mr. Duwadi. In 2017, the department had installed four stations inside the Kathmandu Valley and three in Pokhara.
Of the 789 answers collected earlier this year, a staggering 76% stated that their health has been affected by the air pollution. Most cited were breathing problems, chest pain, and eye infection. Air pollution is the major issue in Kathmandu valley and is continuously increasing year by year. With this air pollution control action plan, let us hope to see Kathmandu Valley free from pollution.
The action plan, Air pollution control action plan will make it easier for people to survive this pollution in the capital.