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Vietnamese authorities announce root cause of air pollution in Hanoi, Ho Chi Minh City

Thursday, December 31, 2020, 17:01 GMT+7
Vietnamese authorities announce root cause of air pollution in Hanoi, Ho Chi Minh City
Construction waste from a sidewalk maintenance project is seen scattered on Thuy Khue Street in Hanoi. Photo: Xuan Long / Tuoi Tre

The latest announcement from Vietnam’s Ministry of Natural Resource and Environment indicated traffic emissions, construction discharge, and industrial waste as the root causes of increasing air pollution in Hanoi and Ho Chi Minh City.

The findings were addressed in an official orientation document on enhancing air pollution control and handling dust and toxic hotspots, endorsed by Vo Tuan Nhan, Deputy Minister of Natural Resources and Environment and sent to provincial authorities on Wednesday.

Air pollution is on the rise in major cities, specifically Ha Noi and Ho Chi Minh City, augmenting public health risks and jeopardizing social and economic development, the ministry stated.

The ministry named dust and exhaust emissions from commuting vehicles, as well as unregulated discharges from construction sites and industrial manufacturing and temperature inversion – an adverse weather condition that traps pollution close to the ground – as factors that contributed to deteriorating air quality in the cities.

The ministry ordered that Hanoi and Ho Chi Minh City authorities orchestrate schemes to minimize traffic congestion and reduce air pollution.

Water spraying trucks should also be mobilized to cleanse major streets and reduce the spread of dust on a regular basis. On top of that, a thorough plan to collect street littering is also recommended.

The document urges the installation and utilization of air quality monitoring stations, which will provide local residents with frequent air quality index reports.

The ministry asked Hanoi and Ho Chi Minh City to accelerate the development of public transport systems, as well as prioritizing the use of clean energy and the elimination of outdated vehicles.

Province- and city-level authorities are requested to raise the frequency of regular environmental monitoring reports, while making better use of the real-time, automatic monitoring systems in each locale.

Results should be publicized on the localities’ information hubs as well as other media channels, besides reports sent to the Ministry of Natural Resources and Environment for oversight and communication purposes.

Should health risks emerge, local authorities are required to inform residents as soon as possible.

Earlier, the ministry reported a sharp decline of air quality in Hanoi between December 20 and 26, as statistics recorded in the locale indicated unfavorable air quality throughout the course of seven days.

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