Hanoi mayor Nguyen Duc Chung has asked local bodies to bring back water trucks to wash the streets with a view to reducing air pollution nearly three years after their suspension, VnExpress reported.
A water truck wets a street around the Hoan Kiem Lake in downtown Hanoi.
Chung announced the decision at a meeting on December 18 after some district leaders had asked for spraying water in crowded streets to mitigate air pollution.
Nguyen Thi Nang Mai, vice chairwoman of the Bac Tu Liem district People's Committee, said there are many major construction sites in her district, including a railway line, which are major sources of dust.
Nguyen Manh Ha, chairman of the Long Bien district People's Committee, said at the meeting that streets should be washed more often during the dry season and when pollution worsens.
According to Vice Chairman of the Hoang Mai district People's Committee Do Thanh Tung, two main streets in the district have been washed once a week and air pollution has been visibly reduced.
Hanoi has suspended the cleaning of streets with water since February 2017 as, according to the city’s authorities, using street vacuum cleaners would be more economical. Thus, the municipal government has purchased 50 street sweeper machines and garbage trucks from Germany for the work. One truck daily sucks 1.5 cubic meters of dust, the same volume as 12 workers.
Since then some streets are washed only during major celebrations and the area around Hoan Kiem Lake before and after they are closed to traffic during weekends.
Chung explained that using street sweeper could save VND70 billion (US$3.01 million) for the city’s budget in watering the streets each year, at the same time reducing labor force used in sucking mud in sewers due to washing the roads.
Hanoi's alarming pollution has been making headlines since September.
Deputy Director of the Hanoi Department of Natural Resources and Environment Le Tuan Dinh informed that, since the beginning of the year, Hanoi has experienced six prolonged air pollution periods (on average from 5 to 10 days each), in which air quality was recorded at unhealthy levels. Hanoitimes
Gas emissions from vehicles, exhaust from factories and industries and air pollutants from construction sites were identified as the three main causes of the deteriorating air quality in HCMC and Hanoi at an urgent meeting on air pollution yesterday.
The Hanoi government has taken many measures to deal with air pollution a long time ago.