Letter to the Editor

Dear Sir,

As winter approaches in the Thimphu Valley it has become common place to observe a thick pall of smoke that hangs over the valley especially in the mornings. The smoke is not visible during the day but it is surely there. This forces me to think about whether we are testing the fragile eco-system of our valley with so much developmental activities and vehicles.

News articles in the past have also highlighted this issue with poorer air quality in Thimphu in winter. I am of the opinion that the government of the day should get the NEC to do more tests. The authorities can start by taking action against big polluters which would include some industries located the city limits. People should not be allowed to burn trash in the open and heavy fines should be imposed.

I also see a lot of vehicles belching heavy amount of smoke which is more than normal indicating car engine and filter issues. The RSTA, NEC and RBP should take action against such vehicle polluters. Other policy initiatives and programs should also be undertaken to improve public transport, pedestrian lanes and also bike lanes.

Please do something before we become another Beijing or Delhi in our air quality standards.

Pema Tshering

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