NSU urges KMC to reduce air pollution

Kathmandu, January 12

Nepal Students Union gave a bag of dust and an anti-pollution mask to Deputy Mayor of Kathmandu Metropolitan City Hariprabha Khadgi Shrestha in a symbolic protest against the metropolis’ apathy to waste management.

Though the students affiliated to the ruling Nepali Congress had planned to hand the garbage and mask to Mayor Bidya Sundar Shakya, they met deputy mayor Shrestha as Shakya was not available at his office. The campaign was led by NSU Kathmandu chapter.

“We cautioned KMC led by people’s elected representatives against increasing pollution levels and mismanagement of waste. The authorities should treat the issue of air pollution with priority,” Manoj Baidya, NSC Kathmandu president, said.

In response, Deputy Major Shrestha blamed Melamchi Water Supply Project’s ongoing construction

work for dust pollution in Kathmandu and said the metropolis was holding discussion with all stakeholders on ways to solve the problem as soon as possible.

The students holding placards also staged a sit-in in front of KMC office for one hour and said they would continue the protest to pressurise the concerned agencies to make the city dust-free.

They also alleged that the metropolis had failed to combat  dust pollution that could cause serious health hazards. Road expansion drive and digging of roads by MWSP to lay utility pipes across the city has also added to the acute dust problem.

Air pollution has been cited as the cause of increasing cases of respiratory and heart diseases in the city at present. Government agencies were requested to recognise the situation as a public health emergency.

According to figures published by the World Health Organisation on Ambient Air Pollution today, nearly 740 people died from acute lower respiratory infection, 1,770 from chronic obstructive pulmonary disorder, 932 from lung cancer, 3,328 from ischemic heart disease and 3,183 from stroke in Nepal in 2016.