KATHMANDU, Feb 1: The Supreme Court, issuing an interim order on Wednesday, has instructed the government and authorities concerned to take effective measures to control dust and smoke pollution in the Kathmandu Valley.
Responding to a writ petition filed by advocate Padam Bahadur Shrestha, a single bench of Justice Ananda Mohan Bhattarai on Monday issued the order stating that the level of dust particles in the air should be less than the standards set by the government. The government had published the pollution standards in Nepal gazette on August 13, 2012.
As per the government's air quality standards, PM10 should be below 120 microgram per cubic meter while PM2.5 must be below 40 microgram per cubic meter during a period of 24 hours.
Advocate Shrestha had filed the petition arguing that the pipe-laying work by the Melamchi Water Supply Project and various road expansion projects within Kathmandu Valley caused the air pollution, which harmed people's right to live in healthy environment as mentioned in the constitution.
Taking on petitioner's argument, the court has asked the authorities to water the construction sites at least once a day and to establish coordination between government agencies to complete the construction works soon.
The bench has asked the government and concerned authorities to furnish written statements within 15 days regarding the petition. The bench has also asked the authorities to attach the progress report regarding the interim order while furnishing the written statement.