Air quality machines to be back in operation shortly

Published On: August 7, 2018 06:56 AM NPT By: Republica  | @RepublicaNepal

KATHMANDU, Aug 7: Air quality mapping machines, which stopped working months ago, are likely to come back into operation within a month.

Air quality monitoring in different parts of the country became dysfunctional three months ago, according to the government officials. Of the 12 installed machines, six stopped functioning properly. It affected the dissemination of actual data of air quality monitoring.

The machines installed at Shankha Park and Kirtipur of Kathmandu and three in Pokhara centers became dysfunctional. Four batteries of Kirtipur center were stolen about 10 months ago. Police are still ‘investigating’ the theft, according to officials at the Department of Environment (DoE).

Machines installed at Gandaki Boarding School, Department of Hydrology and Meteorology and Pokhara University in Pokhara were dysfunctional, according to the DoE. Three machines were brought to Kathmandu about two months ago for upgrading. 

“Those machines needed calibration. The calibration of three machines of Pokhara center has been completed,” said Shankar Prasad Paudel, information officer at the DoE.

However, the officials at the DoE said that the machines were dysfunctional due to damage of machines and shortage of parts caused delay to calibrate them in time. Due to the dust pollution created by road expansion, machine of Shankha Park could not work properly, said the government officials.

Pokhara, Kirtipur, Chitwan, Lumbini, Patan, Kathmandu University, Birendra Sainik Boarding School, Ratna Park, Shankha Park, and Bhaisepati have the air quality mapping machines installed.

“Air quality mapping equipment is calibrated each year for assuring accurate data,” said Paudel. “Calibration of an equipment installed in Pokhara took three weeks while another was calibrated in seven hours,” he added. “The dysfunctional pieces of equipment installed in Kathmandu will come into operation within a month.”

The batteries of the machine at Kirtipur could be immediately replaced but the government apathy delayed it for about 10 months. “We have spare batteries in stock but it could not be replaced due to the lack of electricity connection. New connection system of power needs to be completed for operating the equipment here,” said Paudel.

The DoE has also planned to additionally install air quality mapping machines in Itahari, Dang, Nepalgunj and Surkhet but the works are in limbo for several months.

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