Kathmandu tops as the world's most polluted city in terms of AQI

Published On: April 9, 2024 04:54 PM NPT By: Republica  | @RepublicaNepal

KATHMANDU, April 9: Air pollution in the Kathmandu Valley has increased following forest fires across the country for the past few days. Based on the Air Quality Index (AQI), Kathmandu has been ranked as the most polluted city globally this afternoon, recording an AQI of 200.

Deputy Director-General of the Department of Environment, Tara Dutta Bhatta, said there is an effect of forest fires in the air of different cities, including Kathmandu. "The air pollution of Kathmandu had also increased a few weeks ago. It has become more polluted today," he mentioned, adding that air pollution would increase until the forest fires come under control.

Similarly, Disaster Management expert Dr. Dharma Raj Upreti said an AQI value of up to 50 is considered good while 51-100 is moderate, 100-150 is unhealthy, and it is highly hazardous if measured at 150-200. Likewise, an AQI value from 201 to 300 is considered very unhealthy while 300-400 is dangerous, and 401-450 is very dangerous.

The Air Quality Management Action Plan for the Kathmandu Valley, 2076, states that an AQI of more than 300 is considered a disaster. The Action Plan bans burning garbage and promotes the use of brooms and vacuums to clean the roads to prevent such disasters. It also stipulates issuing public notices to children, senior citizens, and patients to take special precautions.

In the National Environment Policy, 2076 BS, it is mentioned that national standards related to the prevention of water, air, soil, sound, electricity, magnetic waves, radioactive radiation, and hazardous chemical pollution will be prepared and implemented to reduce pollution.

According to the strategy, air, water, and sound quality will be mapped by establishing and operating quality measurement centers in areas at risk of pollution, including major cities and industrial areas.


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