Kathmandu’s air quality ranks among the most unhealthy globally

  April 10, 2024 By: INSEC

The level of air pollution in Kathmandu has reached a critically unhealthy state, surpassing all other countries in the world. Nepal ranks first in the list of countries with extremely unhealthy air quality.

According to the real-time air pollution measurement by IQAir, as of the morning of April 10, Kathmandu, the capital of Nepal, ranks first globally in terms of air pollution. Kathmandu’s Air Quality Index (AQI) according to IQAir is 245, compared to 206 in Lahore, Pakistan, and 204 in New Delhi, India.

An AQI above 200 is considered extremely unhealthy. In such conditions, experts advise people to avoid going outdoors unnecessarily.

The Environment Department has measured an AQI of 246 in Khumaltar, Lalitpur, which is the highest in Nepal. Similarly, Ratnapark in Kathmandu has an AQI of 209, Kirtipur in Kathmandu has 191, Bhaktapur has 188, Pulchowk has 165, and Nepalgunj has 159.

According to the Department of Environment, the AQI measured at 9:30 AM today is 259 in Khumaltar, 232 in Ratnapark, and 217 in Bhaktapur.

The AQI measures pollution levels based on PM 2.5 and PM 10 fine particles suspended in the air. A score above 100 indicates unhealthy air quality, with levels above 150 considered unhealthy for everyone.

Environmental scientist Bhushan Tuladhar warned that Kathmandu’s air pollution level has not improved despite lockdowns and restrictions due to the ongoing pandemic, with smog covering the country. He urged the government to immediately implement strict measures to control the situation, stating that partial measures would not suffice and comprehensive action is needed.

He also suggested that reducing the operation of vehicles, especially in urban areas, could help improve air quality to some extent.

Online INSEC