Monday, 22 Apr 2019

Residents in Hanoi breathe fresher air

Updated at Thursday, 07 Jun 2018, 19:31
The Hanoitimes - Air quality in Hanoi has seen improvement in the first five months of 2018, but not in all parts of the capital.
Under the increasing pressure of climate change, environment conservation and protection has become Vietnam's pressing issue and human's common task.
Particularly for Hanoi, the task of treating surface water, air, garbage and waste is one of the issues that the government, people and tourists are positively responding.
West Lake from above
West Lake from above
Good air quality was recorded at the end of April and the beginning of May at monitoring stations in the districts of Cau Giay, Dong Da and Hoang Mai, according to the Hanoi Environmental Protection Agency.
From 10 monitoring stations across the city, concentrations of harmful PM10 and PM2.5 matter decreased by 1.5 and 2 times respectively, compared to the period from November to December 2017.
The air quality index (AQI), which measures daily air pollution, saw a drastic improvement during the Reunification Day (April 30) and Labour Day (May 1) holidays, as well as during Lunar New Year holiday (February 16-21) compared to regular days due to lower traffic in the city.
However, bad air quality was still recorded at monitoring points near major roads, especially on Minh Khai street (part of National Route 32) and from Pham Van Dong street, which connects to Thang Long Bridge. 
Particulate matter concentrations in these areas sometimes exceeded the permitted level, while their AQI often remained around average, according to local authorities.
Measurements of air pollution in a recent report from the Green Innovation and Development Centre (GreenID), a Vietnamese not-for-profit organization, have also worried people. It categorized Hanoi’s air quality in the first three months of the year as “bad” for human health.
While the report somewhat reflects reality, officials from the Hanoi Environmental Protection Agency said that those measurements do not represent the entire city because they were recorded near the Lang Ha-De La Thanh intersection where there is always heavy traffic.
Air quality in Hanoi is not as bad as what was written in the report, they said, adding that Vietnam’s official method of measuring AQI (issued by the Ministry of Environment and Natural Resources) is different to GreenID’s which follows the US’s environmental standards.
Amidst worries about the city’s air quality, environmental experts said that the city should try harder to get its observation data as accurate as it can in order to make better forecasts.
Aware of this, Le Tuan Dinh, deputy director of the Hanoi Department of Environment and Natural Resources, said that 70 more air monitoring stations will be installed across the city in the coming time.
According to Nguyen Duc Chung, Chairman of the municipal People’s Committee, in its socio-economic development plan for the 2016-2020 period, Hanoi has identified that environment improvement is one of its priorities.
With the determination of the city's top leaders, shown by relatively synchronous solutions with initial effects, the capital's environment is gradually being controlled.
However, the way to the milestone of "a green capital" remains so thorny, requiring not only the determination, resources but the most important is the citizens' consciousness to build a "safe, friendly and fresh capital".
Anh Kiet
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