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Hanoi air pollution control to be enhanced

Hà Nội is suffering serious air pollution.

HÀ NỘI — The Ministry of Natural Resources and Environment has been compiling a directive of urban air pollution control which is set to be issued in August.

Air pollution in big cities such as Hà Nội and HCM City has become worse in recent years and reached alarming levels on many days, affecting people’s health.

The draft directive on enhancing air pollution control in urban areas has been made available for comment and consultation among ministries and agencies nationwide.

According to the Ministry of Natural Resources and Environment, the directive is expected to encourage provinces and cities, especially big cities, to implement plans of air pollution and gas emission control, and PM10 and PM2.5 dust monitoring.

The directive will also ask Hà Nội, HCM City and other cities and provinces at high risk of air pollution to monitor emission sources and propose plans of restricting vehicles travelling to inner-cities on very bad and hazardous pollution days.

Local authorities will have to rationally divide traffic flow to limit prolonged congestion causing environmental pollution.

At the same time, localities have to accelerate plans of expanding public transport networks, eventually replacing motorbikes and other fossil-fuelled vehicles.

Old and ragged vehicles must be banned from circulation while the use of electric and gas vehicles in inner-cities should be encouraged.

The Ministry of Natural Resources and Environment will continue to complete the legal framework on environmental protection and air quality monitoring and take prime responsibility for implementing the national action plan on air quality control.

The Ministry of Transport is responsible for the roadmap of gas emission standards after it is approved by the Government.

The ministry will set up strategies and roadmaps to develop environmentally-friendly means of transport.

The Ministry of Construction shall issue regulations on environmental protection for construction activities and study noise-proof materials for construction works.

The Ministry of Health will assess the impact of air pollution on health and propose measures to protect people’s health. — VNS

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