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Hanoi vows to cut number of private vehicles to ease pollution

Environmental experts say 70 percent of the volume of exhaust gas emitted into the environment comes from transport vehicles.

Hanoi plans to cut number of private vehicles to ease pollution
Hanoi plans to cut number of private vehicles to ease pollution

The reports of the Institute for Occupational and Environmental Health show the relation between air quality and health, and the impact of air pollution on people, especially those who live near roads and intersections.

Experts said the emissions from transport vehicles using fossil fuels are the major source of pollutants.

The Ministry of Transport (MOT) reports that 3.5 million motorbikes are sold in Vietnam every year. Hanoi has 5.2 million motorbikes, and the figure increases by 6 percent per annum, which means that the capital city will have 6.1 million motorbikes by 2020.

The latest report of GreenID (green innovation and development center), a not-for-profit organization, showed that the air quality in Hanoi in the second quarter was better than the first quarter with the average AQI (air quality index) at 86 and suspended fine dust (PM 2.5) at 30.6 micrometers per cubic meter.

This figure is lower than the national ambient air quality standard of 50 micrometers/m3. The number of days with PM2.5 exceeding the standard fell to seven in the second quarter.

However, the air quality is still at a low level. If compared with the WHO’s PM 2.5 standards, Hanoi would have 41 out of 91 days with PM 2.5 exceeding the standards

According to environmental experts, 70 percent of emissions come from transport vehicles. Controlling emissions from vehicles must be the major solution to improve the air quality.

Hanoi is considering possible solutions to minimize the number of private vehicles and encourage people to use public means of transport. Experts have repeatedly urged to replace fossil fuels with new types of fuel from solar power or more friendly types of energy.

The Hanoi Transport Department has encouraged taxi firms, buses and passenger transport firms to plan the roadmaps to replace diesel and petrol with CNG (compressed natural gas), a kind of fuel friendly to the environment.

In Hai Phong and HCM City, the petroleum distribution companies belonging to Petrolimex have tried CNG as alternative fuel.

The World Health Organization (WHO) reported 60,000 deaths in 2016 from heart disease, stroke, lung cancer, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease and pneumonia in Vietnam.

Hanoi ranks second out of 23 surveyed cities in South East Asia in terms of exposure to air pollution.