Nepal | June 03, 2020

Haze hampers visibility, gives rise to lung problems

Himalayan News Service
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Road being dug up for laying pipes for the Melamchi Drinking Water Project, in Bhatbhateni, Kathmandu, on Monday. Photo: Balkrishna Thapa Chhetri/THT

Kathmandu, February 27

Kathmandu Valley has been shrouded with haze for the last three days, hampering visibility.

The Meteorological Forecasting Division said the haze was formed due to dust particles in the Valley’s atmosphere and this phenomenon will continue for four more days.

“Heavy dust particles are grounded whereas light particles fly in the atmosphere. There are high chances that this phenomenon will persist in the Valley for four more days,” the division stated.

Meteorologist at the division Samir Shrestha told The Himalayan Times, “Either rain or high speed wind could eliminate the haze, but both possibilities are unlikely for the next three to four days.” He said a normal westerly wind system is moving towards the east above Jammu and Kashmir of India that may reach the central region of Nepal in three to four days.

According to the MFD, the intensity of solar radiation has become very low while visibility is decreasing due to the occurrence of haze in the Valley, and this has been creating problems at Tribhuvan International Airport.

“Though visibility stands at 3,000 metres on normal days in the Valley, a mere 1,000-metre to 1,500-metre visibility has been recorded on average due to the haze,” Shrestha added.

Major highways and inner roads of the Valley have been dug up for installation of Melamchi Project pipeline, causing heavy dust pollution. Melamchi Project has admitted that it might be responsible for up to 20 per cent of the Valley’s air pollution.

Meanwhile, physician Dr Dirgha Singh Bam has recommended wearing of masks while outdoors, and if possible, change of route avoiding road construction, widening or pipeline installation activities so as to prevent lung diseases caused by dust particles.

“Dust particles enter the human body through skin and respiration, so masks are a must and dusty routes must be avoided whenever possible,” he said.

A version of this article appears in print on February 28, 2017 of The Himalayan Times.

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