Localities asked to act urgently to tackle air pollution hinh anh 1Illustrative image (Source: VNA)

Hanoi (VNA) - The Ministry of Natural Resources and Environment (MoNRE) has asked the People’s Committees of centrally-run cities and provinces nationwide to roll out urgent solutions to control air pollution and promptly address any “hotspots”.

A ministry representative noted that air pollution in major cities, especially Hanoi and HCM City, has become worse in recent years and affected people’s health and socio-economic activities.

Major contributors include vehicle emissions, uncontrolled industrial operations, and the weather.

The ministry asked that localities strengthen environmental monitoring while calculating and announcing the local air quality index, in line with guidance from the Vietnam Environment Administration.

Localities should also publicise the air quality index on the People’s Committees’ online portal and the media, and send it to the ministry.

When environmental pollution reaches levels that harm people’s health, authorised agencies must issue warnings in a timely manner, the ministry asked.

It also urged localities to request that media agencies use official environmental monitoring results, so that accurate information is provided to the community.

Meanwhile, localities should encourage local residents not to burn solid waste or straw but to reduce sources of emissions, while reviewing all sources to identify and apply suitable solutions and address violations in environmental protection.

Organisations and individuals violating the law are to be named and shamed in the mass media.

In Hanoi and HCM City, the ministry asked the People’s Committees to direct authorised local agencies to speed up the installation and operation of automated air monitoring stations, while conducting regular monitoring and keeping the public informed of the results.

The two cities should also design plans to develop their public transport networks while banning outdated vehicles that are harmful to the environment.

It is also necessary to reduce traffic congestion while applying environmental protection measures on industrial and construction activities.

The ministry also requested the two cities support local people in minimising the use of coal-fuelled stoves and guide them on how to treat straw after the harvest./.