Nepal | May 27, 2019

Air pollution levels rising

Himalayan News Service
Polluted Kathmandu City

A woman covers her face to shield polluted air in Balkhu, Kathmandu on Thursday, September 22, 2016. Nepal ranks 177 among 180 countries in terms of air quality with pollution index of 81.76. Photo: Skanda Gautam

Kathmandu, October 17

The levels of air pollution in Kathmandu Valley has been increasing rapidly since the day after Bijaya Dashami last week, as traffic movement returned to normal with people returning to the capital from their home districts after Dashain celebrations.

The Air Quality Monitoring Station in Ratnapark showed that all four parameters of air pollution  PM10, PM2.5, PM1 and Total Suspended Particulate  have recorded continuous increment.

The data has shown that on Bijaya Dashami, which was on October 11, PM10 was around 120, PM2.5 was 90, PM1 was 19, and TSP was 92. However, on October 16, PM10 reached 235, PM2.5 reached 110, PM1 reached 90, and TSP reached 338.

Senior Divisional Chemist at the Department of Environment Shankar Prasad Paudel said that the increment of traffic and human activity in the Valley were the main causes behind the increase in air pollution.

“This is definitely because many people have returned after celebrating Dashain and vehicular movement has increased,” he told The Himalayan Times, adding, “All four air quality parameters have shown increment after Dashain.”

Currently, the department is monitoring air pollution through one station installed in Ratnapark of Kathmandu. Another station will reportedly be installed in Dhulikhel by the end of this week.

With that station, the government will be operating 15 air quality monitoring stations throughout the country by the end of this fiscal year.

A version of this article appears in print on October 18, 2016 of The Himalayan Times.

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