KATHMANDU, March 5: The term “dust” has become a common term among the inhabitants of Kathmandu valley as if it were popular. Post-earthquake reconstruction activities, road expansion and the expansion of water pipes for the completion of Melamchi Drinking Water project are the main causes of dust that infests Kathmandu.
The high level of dust the inhabitants of Kathmandu Valley are suffering from, which could have been at least alleviated through proper planning, is mainly attributable to the lack of co-ordination among the concerned government authorities.
The latest statistics reveals that the number of patients suffering from respiratory disease is on the increase.
According to the Department of Environment under the Ministry for Environment, people in Kathmandu Valley are breathing in dust particles less than 2.5 PM in size. The level of pollution in Kathmandu Valley has surpassed the minimum standard of World Health Organization (WHO).
The number of road accidents has increased due to the slippery road caused by wet dust, Superintendent of Police at Metropolitan Traffic Police Lokendra Malla has said.
Experts say that the protective covers used as dust protector such as masks sold in the common market at a cheaper price are not good enough to prevent infinitesimal dust particles from passing through. The masks made according to medical standards, which cost Rs. 3, 000 are not affordable for the majority of people.