KATHMANDU, April 2: The sky above the Kathmandu Valley witnessed a slight improvement on Friday as the atmosphere started clearing up following the rainfall that occurred on Wednesday evening.
According to the data collected from the pollution monitoring devices installed at various places of the Valley, the worst air was reported in the morning between 7 and 8. The air quality index was measured with fine particulate matter (PM 2.5) standing at 92.77 micrograms per cubic meter (μg/m3) during that time period.
The Valley residents breathed the cleanest air in the afternoon -- between 1 and 2 -- which docs at 42.72 μg/m3, closer to the standard of 40 μg/m3 as set by the Government of Nepal. The World Health Organization (WHO) prescribes that the PM 2.5 reading of the healthy air should be measured not more than 25 μg/m3.
Kathmandu, which hosts the largest population of the country, is often ranked on the top in a list of cities with high pollution. Haphazard development and industrial activities, its bowl-like structure and poor waste management are some of the major causative agents for the poor air quality of the country’s federal capital city, according to environmentalists.