Hanoi chairman instructs drastic measures against air pollution
Chairman of the Hanoi People’s Committee Nguyen Duc Chung has called for a range of measures to ease the current severe air pollution.
Hanoi faces the severe air pollution
Chung had a meeting with municipal agency leaders on Wednesday on environmental protection.
At the event, deputy director of the Hanoi Department of Natural Resources and Environment Le Tuan Dinh, said that figures from 11 air monitoring stations run by the department showed that the number of days with safe air quality index dropped in the 2017-2019 period against previous years. The highest air pollution was from 5 am to 12 am and at night.
Dinh added that so far this year, Hanoi experienced six air pollution spells lasting for 5-10 days. The air quality was extremely bad on December 8-14 with the index surpassing 200.
Vice chairman of Bac Tu Liem District People’s Committee Nguyen Thi Nang Mai said that the locality was home to many underway construction projects, including metros, which is among major for air pollution. Mai proposed cleaning 15 local main streets.
Chairman of Dong Da District People’s Committee Vo Nguyen Phong also suggesting cleaning major local streets 2-3 times per week.
Chung admitted weaknesses in the city’s environmental protection such as rubbish collection.
He requested the municipal Department of Natural Resources and Environment to set up 50-70 air monitoring stations in the first quarter of 2020.
The departments of health and natural resources and the environment need to co-operate to issue air pollution warnings for people.
Chung agreed on the proposal on washing main streets, even smaller ones with suitable machines.
It was also necessary to clean lakes and rivers and call on people to reduce the use of coal beehive-shaped coal stoves. Favourable conditions are needed to be offered for electric incinerators. From 2021, the city will tighten control over waste collection. Firms which are unqualified will be removed.
According to the chairman, it is important to issue new regulations on the operation of vehicles which specialize in transporting construction materials.
Chung noted that at present Hanoi had 14 air monitoring stations which were not enough to assess the air quality of the entire city. He suggested children would be allowed to be off from school when the air quality index was more than 300.
Vietnam Electricity Group (EVN) has denied the accusation that severe air pollution in Hanoi is mainly affected by its thermal power plants.
The Ministry of Natural Resources and Environment has written to the Government Office and the relevant ministries and agencies, inviting them to a meeting to seek solutions to the air pollution in large cities, especially Hanoi and HCMC.