Government prepares to launch Air Pollution Control Action Plan

Kathmandu, April 14

The government is preparing to launch an air pollution control action plan in a bid to combat air pollution in the Valley. According to the Department of Environment, while the action plan will have not have immediate solutions, it will form a guide to short-term, mid-term, and long-term solutions to combat the Valley’s increasing air pollution.

The department said a draft of the action plan has already been prepared and is under discussion with stakeholders to receive their opinions. “We intend to launch the action plan either on the first week of Ashadh this year, or by the end of the current Nepali fiscal year,” Senior Divisional Chemist of the department Shankar Prasad Paudel told The Himalayan Times, adding, “The plan has set short-term, mid-term, and long-term targets, and outlines guidelines to reach the targets.”

Paudel added that a final draft will be prepared after consultation with experts and stakeholders.

Meanwhile, the Department of Environment has also finalised the draft of the National Pollution Control Strategy and Action Plan.

The draft proposes to establish an Environment Protection and Climate Change Council to address the issues of environment protection and climate change. As per the draft, the EPCCC will be chaired by the prime minister, the environment and population minister will take the position of vice-chair, and the secretary at the ministry will fill the position of the member secretary of the council. The council will have a total of 41 members.

Similarly, the draft also proposes forming a Strategy and Action Plan Implementation Coordination Committee, and a Strategy and Action Plan Implementation Unit. While the government has set up air quality monitoring stations in the Valley, there is no government record for levels of water, noise, and visual pollution.

The ongoing Melamchi project is digging trenches and laying pipes for the distribution of drinking water, increasing dust pollution in Kathmandu Valley.

The Kathmandu Metropolitan City said it plans to import five road broomers, two tree planting machines, and five water tanks at the earliest to immediately address the problem of dust pollution.