Environmentalists ring alarm bells over Kathmandu’s poor air quality

Environmentalists have raised the alarm about the deteriorating air quality of Kathmandu Valley and urged the government to take immediate measures to reverse the problem.

According to the Environment Performance Index 2016 prepared by Yale University in the US, Nepal ranks among the worst four performers when it comes to protecting human health and environment while the crowd-sourced global database, Numbeo, has declared Kathmandu the third most polluted city in the world.

To draw the government attention towards poor air quality in the valley, environmental experts and activists have launched “Campaign for Clean Air Rights (C-CAR)” and started an online signature petition, demanding the government to ensure the people’s right to live in a healthy and clean environment.

The campaign has recommended the government to formulate a comprehensive clean air action plan to address air pollution, install air pollution monitoring stations in key locations, strictly implement the existing vehicle emission standards, mobilise pollution tax towards mitigation activities,

“We ask government to mobilize pollution tax immediately on air pollution mitigation activities and on implementing ‘Clean Air Action Plan’.’

“We also request to invest the increased tax on fuel to be invested in mass public transport system, and make pollution industries and vehicles to pay their fair share for contributing to air pollution,” the petition says.

According to Rajan Thapa, one of the campaigners representing Clean Energy Nepal, they will submit the petition to Prime Minister KP Oli on the occasion of World Environment Day on Sunday.

Deteriorating air quality inside the Kathmandu Valley is posing severe threat on public health. However, the government and the public is unaware about the level of exposure and extent of the threat.

Source: The Kathmandu Post