Nepal | June 02, 2020

Air pollution levels higher in Lumbini than in Ratnapark

Pramod Kumar Tandan
Share Now:

Lumbini birth place of Lord Gautam Buddha.

Kathmandu, March 23

Ratnapark has emerged as the second most polluted place in the country, according to the air quality monitoring report released by the Department of Environment.

The Ratnapark-based air quality monitoring station recorded PM 2.5 at 109.08 micrograms per cubic metre on January 3 this year, whereas Lumbini recorded the highest PM 2.5 concentration at 173.03 micrograms per cubic metre on January 14.

“Data have shown that Ratnapark is the second most polluted place after Lumbini,” Senior Divisional Chemist at the department, Shankar Prasad, Paudel, told The Himalayan Times, adding that January was recorded as the most polluted month since the air quality monitoring practice began in the country.

The government had resumed air quality monitoring process by establishing a station at Ratnapark on August last year. Altogether five air quality monitoring stations are currently operational throughout the country.

Apart from the month of January, Ratnapark recorded PM2.5 at 144.19 micrograms per cubic metre in December against 93.71 micrograms per cubic metre in Lumbini.

The department said the cause behind pollution in Lumbini could be ascertained only after studying the pollution data of nearby Indian cities. He claimed Ratnapark might have been the victim of being located on a lower ground as all dust particles finally gather at the bottom. Air quality monitoring stations have also been set up in Pulchock, Chitwan and Dhulikhel in coordination with ICIMOD.

Meanwhile, DoE said that was preparing to set up four more air quality monitoring stations in Kathmandu Valley within the current fiscal. Though the exact locations are yet to be identified, the department is conducting feasibility study for three possible locations in the Valley. According to department additional stations will be installed in collaboration with ADB. The government had resumed air quality monitoring in the Kathmandu Valley by installing a station at Ratnapark on August 9 last year.

Besides, the government-run air quality monitoring stations in and outside Kathmandu Valley, Nepal also enjoys access to US Embassy Air Quality Monitor data.  Although the practice of monitoring levels of air pollution began in Nepal in 2002 with the installation of seven air quality stations in the Valley by the Danish government, all stations were shut down by 2009.

After the stations were handed over to the Nepali government in 2008, the government entrusted the Environment and Public Health Organisation with managing the stations. A misunderstanding between the government and the ENPHO led to closure of the stations in 2009. The department is in the process of installing 56 stations throughout the country. According to the department, the station has been sending data regularly to the central sever since it came into operation. The station measures dust particles, especially particulate matter (PM 10) and PM 2.5 in the air.


A version of this article appears in print on March 24, 2017 of The Himalayan Times.

Follow The Himalayan Times on Twitter and Facebook

Recommended Stories:

More from The Himalayan Times:

People opting to sanitise homes, office spaces as COVID-19 infections keep rising everyday 

Kathmandu Handsanitisers, gloves and masks were our first shield of protection against the spread of coronavirus. And now people have started sanitising their homes and offices as a precautionary measure as infections keep increasing nationwide.   Muna Thapa had never sanitised her Read More...

25 people discharged from Bhim Hospital in Bhairahawa

BUTWAL: Twenty-five people were sent home from Bhim hospital in Bhairahawa after recovering from Covid-19, on Monday. Among those discharged are 22 men and three women, including a 4-year-old and a 10-year-old girl. Of the 25, 10 are from Gaidahawa Rural Municipality -- including three women f Read More...

Three more COVID-19 positive cases identified in Nawalpur

NAWALPUR: As many as three new cases of coronavirus infection have been reported in Nawalpur district today. Of the newly infected, two persons aged 22 and 36 are from Kawasoti-1 and 12 respectively, while the third person, aged 14, is from Binayi Tribeni Rural Municipality-3. They had recently r Read More...

UN forced to cut aid to Yemen, even as virus increases need

CAIRO: Aid organizations are making an urgent plea for funding to shore up their operations in war-torn Yemen, saying they have already been forced to stop some of their work even as the coronavirus rips through the country. Some 75% of UN programs in Yemen have had to shut their doors or reduce Read More...

NEA to provide free electricity to 800,000 houses

KATHMANDU, MAY 31 As per provisions included in the recently announced budget for next fiscal year 2020-21, approximately 800,000 domestic consumers of Nepal Electricity Authority will be able to utilise free electricity service. While presenting the budget for the next fiscal at the Federal P Read More...

India asks internet service providers to block WeTransfer

NEW DELHI: India has ordered its internet service providers (ISPs) to block file-sharing website WeTransfer at a time when hundreds of millions of people are working from home because of a nationwide lockdown to stop the novel coronavirus. The order, dated May 18, from India's Department of T Read More...

Hong Kong shares surge on relief over Trump comments

Hang Seng index rises as much as 3.7% Trump comments seen as more dovish than expected Mainland indexes rally on May manufacturing data SHANGHAI: Hong Kong shares surged on Monday as investors expressed relief that US President Donald Trump did not immediately end special privileges a Read More...

Black boxes from crashed Pakistan jet head to France for analysis

PARIS/KARACHI: Air crash investigators were en route from Pakistan to France on Monday with two 'black box' flight recorders of a Pakistani airliner that crashed in a residential area while trying to land in the port city of Karachi last month, airport officials said. An Airbus test plane, unus Read More...