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HCM City grapples with air, noise pollution

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HCM City seeks to cut air pollution caused by vehicles by 70 per cent under a five-year plan that began in 2016. 

HCM City is seeking to reduce air pollution, which is rising along with its vehicle numbers. — VNS File Photo


Last year, the city had 7.5 million motorbikes and 790,000 cars, and their numbers are expected to increase by a further 30 per cent by 2020.

Besides the sheer numbers, the environment and human health are also affected by the fact that many old, polluting vehicles are still in use.

The city accounts for 16 per cent of all greenhouse gases emitted in Việt Nam, the city Department of Transport said.  

Last month, the Department of Natural Resources and Environment said measurements in 2017 had shown the air in the city was still within safe limits, but dust and noise pollution were quite high.

It admitted however there is need to institute a programme to reduce air pollution.

The city plans to develop public transport and encourage people to use it instead of private vehicles.

Đoàn Văn Tấn, deputy director of the Sài Gòn River Tunnel Management Centre, said: “The noise pollution is at dangerous levels in many places.”

Nguyễn Vĩnh An of Bình Thạnh District said: “My mother is old and cannot sleep at night. My son can’t study. Noise affects our health and schedules.”

Experts said air pollution can cause stress, health problems and others.

“The city needs to consider solutions like growing trees and reducing speed limits to cut down the noise,” Phùng Chí Sĩ, deputy general secretary of the Việt Nam Association for Nature and Environment Protection, said.


Source: VNS

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