KATHMANDU, April 1: Quality of air in the Kathmandu Valley, which saw a severe deterioration since a few days ago, has witnessed a slight improvement on Thursday following the rainfall on Wednesday evening.
According to the air quality index (AQI) calculated based on the data collected from pollution monitoring stations installed at various places of the country’s federal capital city, the Valley breathed the finest quality of air in the afternoon (between 1 and 2). The AQI was measured with fine particulate matter (PM2.5) standing at 50.68 micrograms per cubic meter (μg/m3).
According to IQAir, Kathmandu had topped the list of polluted cities followed by China’s Beijing, India’s Mumbai and Bangladesh’s Dhaka on Friday last week as the highest PM2.5 index was recorded at 303.89 μg/m³ in the afternoon between 3 and 4.
Owing to massive wildfires in more than 54 districts including Chitwan, Parsa, Bara and Makwanpur, the air quality across the country including that of major cities witnessed a sharp decline.
In view of the deteriorating air quality, the Ministry of Education, Science and Technology had earlier directed all the educational institutions to suspend physical classes for four days starting Tuesday. The government also urged one and all to take precautionary measures to avoid adverse effects of the poor air quality.