KMC steps up drive to make roads dust-free

Kathmandu, November 24

Kathmandu Metropolis has stepped up its drive to make New Road, Ratna Park, Tundikhel and their surrounding areas dust-free.

According to KMC, the Bag Durbar-Bhotahiti stretch has been made dust-free in the past two days. Over nine metric tonnes of dust were collected during the period. Nearly 65 persons, along with hydraulic broomer machines, have been mobilised to clean the roads amid strong concern about hazards of dust pollution to public health in Kathmandu Valley.

Unplanned digging of roads, long delay in repairing roads, haphazard dumping of construction materials, laying of utility pipes of the Melamchi Drinking Water Project, among other things, are responsible for increasing dust pollution in the Valley. Pedestrians and people living in roadside houses have been hit the worst. Hospitals report the number of patients with respiratory problems has increased by over 20 per cent in Valley in recent months.

Long exposure to dust is responsible for rise in the number of people suffering from respiratory problems, heart ailments, lung disorders, allergic rhinitis, allergic asthma, bronchial asthma, coughing, wheezing and shortness of breath.

After grappling with potholes and deep craters on the road during the monsoon, commuters and pedestrians in the city are compelled to battle dust with the onset of dry season.