Air pollution in Kathmandu

  • Get News Alerts

The dusty streets of Kathmandu on a dry day.

Visibility in Kathmandu Valley is seriously limited by the air pollution.  Almost all the people in the streets wear the face masks to protect themselves from the polluted air. 

Kathmandu cannot change itself and Kathmanduites have to change their behavior to get cleaner air.

Traffic causes a major part of the air pollution. Not just the exhaust from vehicles but also the dust from construction works on the streets are blown in the air by the movement of vehicles. 

Road expansion started over four years ago has yet to be completed while digging of roads to lay pipeline for bringing drinking water from Melamchi river has wreaked havoc on the city with the contractors not blacktopping the roads after laying the pipes.

Around 125 brick factories in the Valley, all fueled by coal, also significantly contribute to air pollution.

The local tradition of burning the corpses of dead people in the open air on a wood fire also adds to the total air pollution in the city. 

It is a surprise that there are so little electric vehicles in the streets. Although they can be bought in Kathmandu, demand is not very high.

Polluted air hanging like a blanket over the Kathmandu Valley

Visibility is very poor in Kathmandu Valley even on a sunny day

A lot of dust is thrown in the air due to ongoing works on the roads.

Public cremations also add to the air pollution

The “green” bus is not that green!

Almost all people in the streets have to wear face masks.

Electric scooters are for sale, but there is almost no demand for them

The electric Tuk Tuk is a good initiative to fight air pollution. 

A rare sighting of an electric car in the streets of Kathmandu

Marcel van Vuren is a photojournalist doing internship in Kathmandu with InternshipNepal.


More News

  • Bhai Tika being marked today

    The most important day of Tihar, the festival of lights is being marked today by offering tika from sisters to their brothers. Sisters throughout the country offer 'tika' to their brothers wishing them happiness, long life and prosperity on the occasion of Bhaitika.

  • Nepal Sambat New Year 1138, Mha Puja today

    The Nepal Sambat New Year 1138 is being celebrated across the country today amidst various programs. The people of the Newar community have been celebrating the Nepal Sambat as New Year's Day at present. The Nepal Sambat is an indigenous calendar of Nepal.

  • Historical sites in Dadeldhura cry for preservation

    The inner parts of the fort constructed in 1847 BS by then army commander Amar Singh Thapa has become dilapidated. Amar Singh Thapa is said to have started the war campaign in course of the national unification to the west of the Mahakali River from this fortress.

  • Explosion at firecracker factory in India kills 8 workers

    An explosion at an unlicensed firecracker factory killed eight workers and injured 20 other people in eastern India as Hindus celebrated their most popular Diwali festival, police said Thursday.

  • Three people killed in Doti bus accident

    Three people died on the spot and 18 others were injured when a bus met with an accident at Khadyuli, Baddi Kedar rural municipality – 2 on Thursday morning.


  • Amendment of Education Act: A betrayal to capable candidates Amendment of Education Act: A betrayal to capable candidates

    Not all, but many of the temporary teachers who have been wishing to become permanent, no doubt, appointed on the basis of their political ideologies. They couldn't succeed in the examinations despite repeated attempts. They carried the bags of those parties during their teaching career.

    Manoj Sapkota

  • The Doklam dilemma The Doklam dilemma

    Being a buffer state between the two giant neighbors, Nepal should conduct its foreign policy vis-à-vis China and India in a very sensitive manner. Nepal has always maintained that it would not allow its soil to be used against any neighbor. At the same time, Nepal should make sure that its own national interests are never compromised.

    Gaurab Shumsher Thapa


  • To dogs, with love To dogs, with love

    Many find talking about basic animal rights stupid when no basic rights of people are guaranteed. However, there are still few people who are aware how humane behavior has turned toward cruelty and indifference which can be vividly seen through the way street dogs and other animals are abused around us.

    Sujita Shrestha

  • Unanswered questions on recent leftist alliance Unanswered questions on recent leftist alliance

    Although they seem to be very much communist while in opposition, whether about the 'Indian semi-colonial status' in Nepal or American hegemony, this has never been evident while they actually come into power and rule Nepal.

    Dr Chandra Sharma Poudyal

Readers Column

  • What we need to learn from Thailand?

    Thailand is a developing country. But it seemed like a developed country at first sight. It is hard to believe that Thailand is a developing country. There are big buildings, and clean and broad roads. The city is clean with no trace of pollution.

  • Traffic Police in Kathmandu

    As busy and hassling as the traffic system in Kathmandu is, the Traffic Police here have to handle an equally strenuous job. Over 1,400 traffic officers in and around the Kathmandu Valley battle against the pestering traffic and air pollution each day.