Kathmandu today ranked as world’s second most polluted city

KATHMANDU, MAY 5: Kathmandu’s Air Quality Index has today reached 177, ranking it as the world’s second most polluted city after New Delhi, India. Last Thursday, Kathmandu’s AQI was 168. It measured 195 on Wednesday and 185 on Saturday.

New Delhi’s AQI has reached 245, while Beijing, China, has been listed as the third most polluted city in the world with an AQI of 172, according to reports.

The main contributors to air pollution in Kathmandu include carbon emissions from vehicles, dust from road repairs and construction, emissions from industries and brick kilns, poor waste management practices, and forest fires. Addressing these issues systematically is necessary, according to concerned experts.

Presently, cases of forest fires and fires are prevalent, leading to increased air pollution as well as loss of lives and properties. The Department of Environment reported that satellite data shows there have been 1,653 cases of wildfires and fires since the beginning of the year 2024.

An AQI from 0-50 is considered good for public health, indicated by a green signal, while 51-100 is moderate and marked by yellow, urging caution. It becomes unhealthy, specifically for sensitive groups such as those with respiratory and cardiovascular issues when measured from 101-150, highlighted by orange.

Similarly, an AQI from 151-200 is indicated by red, suggesting it is unhealthy for all. An AQI of 201-300 is highlighted in purple, indicating it is very unhealthy. AQI measurements of 301-400 are hazardous, and 401-500 are highly hazardous to health, denoted by maroon.