People, Environment

Nepal Historical Site Highly Polluted

Nepal Historical Site Highly PollutedNepal Historical Site Highly Polluted

The historical site of Buddha's birthplace in Nepal faces a serious threat from air pollution, scientists and officials have warned. Recent data collected from air quality monitoring stations in five places across the country show Lumbini is highly polluted, BBC News reported. The warnings have come amid expanding industrialization near the sacred site. It is already located in a pollution hotspot on the Gangetic plains. For the month of January, fine particulate matter (PM2.5) in Lumbini, in southwest Nepal, was measured at 173.035 micrograms per cubic meter. The reading for the neighboring town of Chitwan was 113.32 and the capital, Kathmandu, which is known for its high pollution levels, was at 109.82. The World Health Organization safe limit for the pollutant is 25 micrograms per cubic meter and the Nepal government has set the national standard at 40. A major pilgrimage for Buddhists, Lumbini is also a major tourist destination. Last year, it saw one million visitors and the government plans to develop it as a global tourism destination. Tourists and monks visiting the site say they felt uneasy while breathing the air.


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