(English) Kathmandu now a Maskmandu

Pedestrian wear mask at a busy street in Kathmandu. Image: agency
Pedestrian wear mask at a busy street in Kathmandu. Image: agency

KATHMANDU, Nepal–Sanjeev Sharma never forgets to put on mask whenever he goes out of his rented room. In the aftermath of air pollution in Kathmandu city, it is customary for him to use mask.

“I use mask every time while walking to protect myself “, says Sharma. “I have been wearing a mask since four years when I arrived this crowed city for the first time”, Sharma tells adding he can’t imagine of moving around the capital Kathmandu without the help of mask.

Hari Regmi, patient of allergy says the air pollution has made his life terrible. “My noise start sneezing whenever I forget to wear the mask on while I´m out,” says Regmi. “To guard myself from this apparently unsolvable problem, I mostly put on a mask “, he says.

The 30-year old youth started using mask two year ago as the air pollution in Kathmandu soared drastically following widening drive of the streets and road in the valley.

Sharma, who studies at the 7th semester in Nepal engineering College (NEC), says that he faces huge difficulty travelling to and from his college, which is located at Bhaktapur.

Sharma and the Regmi are representative character whose views are echoed by almost everyone in Kathmandu. Dust and dirt has always been one of the major concerns for people living in Kathmandu, especially for those who need to travel every day.

“I am fade away with this pollution! I still remember clean Kathmandu but unfortunately it is all like a day dream now”, an 81 year widow Hira Maya Karki says. According to Karki, Kathmandu was like paradise but over a decade now, it has changed. “Dust and dirt have slaughtered the beauty of Kathmandu”, Karki says.

Due to increased population there is the number of patients with chest infection, allergy, bronchitis, throat infection, among other diseases queuing up in hospital.

Health specialists say the number of chest patients have spiked in the last one year. According to them up to 20 patients with pollution related disease visit their clinic daily.

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