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Hanoi fumbles about solutions to combat air pollution

Last update: 07:40 | 06/11/2017

VietNamNet Bridge - Hanoi is still struggling to find solutions to curb the development of cars and motorcycles, which is believed to be the major reason behind serious air pollution in the city.


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GreenID’s director Nguy Thi Khanh warned that the air quality is worsening, which can be seen in air quality index (AQI) and PM2.5 fine dust indicators.

The AQI recorded at the air monitoring station at the US Embassy on Lang Ha street in Hanoi was 121 in 2016, higher than the permitted level of 100.

As for PM2.5, the figure was 50.5 in 2015, or twice as much as the Vietnamese standard of 25. In 2016, monitoring stations detected the PM2.5 concentration higher than the national standard on 123 days of the year.

Khanh cited many reasons behind increased air pollution, including the slow pace of industrial production relocation, the execution of many construction works and the increased population.

There are many reasons behind increased air pollution, including the slow pace of industrial production relocation, the execution of many construction works and the increased population.

Deputy head of the General Directorate of Environment Hoang Duong Tung stressed that the emission from cars and motorbikes is the major concern.

Hanoi has a population of 7 million, and if counting current visitors, the figure would be 10 million. There are about 6 million motorbikes in the city, including 2.5 million old ones which cannot meet requirements for use on the roads.

Hanoi authorities understand that to improve air quality, it is necessary to curb the increase in the number of cars and motorcycles. However, they still have not found proper solutions to do this.

Under current laws, car owners have to follow registration procedures periodically, while motorbike owners don’t. As a result, old motorbikes releasing thick smoke still roll on streets of the city.

Hanoians wear protective masks but they cannot block PM2.5 dust.

The Hanoi Environment Department has suggested setting up automatic vehicle cleaning stations at the entrance gates to the inner city to be sure that all vehicles will have mud removed.

The automatic vehicle cleaning stations were built in the past following an idea raised by JICA in 2000. However, as the stations were ‘operating ineffectively’, they were forced to stop the operation.

The municipal authorities have vowed to restart the plan despite the failure many years ago.

The requirement that vehicle owners must have their vehicles cleaned before entering cities is stipulated in the Road Traffic Law. However, to date, no state agency has come forward to draw up a plan to implement the regulation and choose the technology to be applied.

In the latest news, the construction department has suggested calling for public investment in automatic vehicle cleaning stations at 23 newly programmed filling stations.


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