Nepal | August 11, 2020

Air pollution levels higher in Bhaktapur than in Kathmandu

Anita Shrestha
Share Now:
Smoke from brick kiln contributes to air pollution

Smoke coming out of a brick kiln chimney, in Bhaktapur, on Friday. Photo: THT

Kathmandu, May 21

If a report is something to go by, Bhaktapur is more polluted than Kathmandu in terms of ambient air quality.

Bhaktapur is home to over 120 brick kilns registered and operating under Bhaktapur Cottage and Small industries. A recent report of Leaders Nepal shows that air in Bhaktapur has become much polluted due to the brick kilns.

An e-sampler machine has been installed at Putalisadak, Kathmandu, Siddhi Memorial Hospital, Bhaktapur, and Panchkhal, Sindhupalchowk to measure the levels of air pollution in various cities.

In the month of Baisakh, the average pollution level in Bhaktapur was recorded to be 83 microgram per cubic meter, and in Kathmandu the pollution level was recorded to be 63 microgram per cubic meter.

The National Ambient Air Quality Standard has set a standard of 40 microgram per cubic meter to protect public health. However, frequent rainfalls in this season has caused pollution levels to decline.

Leaders Nepal, under the guidance of the health programme, has been consistently recording 2.5 micrograms per cubic meter of fine dust particles in the air for the past 10 years. The study said pollution levels were recorded to be drastically lower during the blockade when brick kilns were shut (up to  2.5 to 52 micrograms per cubic meter) as opposed to when the factories were running (153 micrograms per cubic meter).

Dhiraj Pokharel, general secretary of Leaders Nepal, blames the polluted air flowing from Kathmandu to Bhaktapur for the high levels of pollution there. Air flows from Balaju through Pokhrel added, “Another reason for pollution is low chimney hoods in factories today. The earthquakes last year destroyed all high chimney hoods, and only small ones remain functional.”

The report also said that the amount of pollution is high in the morning, rising from 6:00 am, and falling from 12:00 pm onwards. This information is worrisome as most children go to school and are out in the open at this time.

Dr Amod Pokhrel, a professor of University of California, said, “The main source of pollution is the use of partially burnt wood and coal as fuel, and smoke from vehicles that run on petrol and diesel.” Air pollution has a stronger impact on the health of young children and the elderly. Health issues such as respiratory problems, high blood pressure, and eye infection can arise due to pollution.

A report by the World Health Organisation stated that air pollution can also affect children’s minds and have a negative impact on their thinking capacity.

A version of this article appears in print on May 22, 2006 of The Himalayan Times.

Follow The Himalayan Times on Twitter and Facebook

Recommended Stories:

More from The Himalayan Times:

Two held with illegal drugs in Pokhara

POKHARA: Police arrested two persons in possession of a huge cache of illegal drugs from Shivatole in Pokhara-10 on Monday. Acting on a tip off, a police team deployed from Rambazaar Police Post apprehended Jeet Bahadur BK, 20, of Harinas Rural Municipality-4 in Syangja district and Rohit Gha Read More...

Flights, long-haul transport to remain suspended till August 31

KATHMANDU: The Cabinet meeting held today decided to resume flight operations from September 1. Citing the worsening situation due to the rise in the number of COVID-19 cases in the country, the Cabinet postponed the resumption of domestic and international flights. Earlier on July 20, while anno Read More...

Extra-time Fernandes penalty sends United into Europa semis

COLOGNE: Manchester United were forced to dig deep to reach the Europa League semi-finals as Portuguese midfielder Bruno Fernandes converted a 95th-minute penalty to secure a 1-0 win over a stubborn FC Copenhagen side after extra time on Monday. United, who won Europe's second-tier comp Read More...

Coronavirus in APF personnel increases risk of community spread in Jhapa

Jhapa, August 10 It is suspected that COVID-19 has spread at the community level in Gauradah Municipality of Jhapa. With the detection of COVID in five people, including APF personnel today, the risk of COVID spread at the community level has increased in wards 6, 7 and 8 of the municipality. Read More...

Livewire Lukaku leads Inter to Europa League semi-finals

DUSSELDORF: Inter Milan striker Romelu Lukaku scored the winner in a 2-1 victory over Bayer Leverkusen as he tormented the Germans to lead his side into the Europa League semi-finals on Monday. Nicolo Barella put Inter ahead after 15 minutes, driving the ball home after Lukaku's shot w Read More...

COVID cases on the rise in Dharan

Dharan, August 10 The number of people infected with COVID-19 is increasing in Dharan Sub-metropolitan City. Nine more people tested positive for the disease in the city today. After the virus spread in the community from Preeti Valve and Fittings factory in Dharan Industrial Estate, the su Read More...

Bara to set up 400-bed isolation ward

Bara, August 10 Authorities in Bara have decided to set up a 400-bed provincial isolation ward in Jitpursimara Sub-metropolitan City for treatment of coronavirus infected persons. “Work to construct the isolation ward will start from tomorrow and finish in two weeks,” said Jitpursimara sub Read More...

Cases of coronavirus rising among bank staff

KATHMANDU, AUGUST 10 The rising cases of coronavirus among bank staffers across the country have raised serious concerns over the effectiveness of measures adopted by banks and financial institutions (BFIs) to prevent the spread of the virus. As banking services are among essential services an Read More...