Jakarta records worst air quality in the world again

Jakarta records worst air quality in the world again

Polluted Smog Blankets Jakarta
A fine mist of fumes, dust and smoke blankets Jakarta's skyline on Jul 17, 2019. The Indonesian capital regularly tops the list of the world's most polluted cities. (Photo: Nivell Rayda) 

JAKARTA: Jakarta’s air quality is the worst in the world again on Thursday (Aug 1) morning, according to air quality index monitor AirVisual, the second time in a span of two months.

The air quality in Jakarta reached 161 - "unhealthy" level - at Thursday noon based on the US Air Quality Index (AQI), news portal Tempo reported. 

The Indonesian capital topped the list by taking the first spot from Ulaanbaatar, Mongolia, ahead of Dhaka, Bangladesh; Hong Kong; Lahore, Pakistan; and Shenyang, China.

READ: Jakarta's air quality is 'healthy': Environment minister amid backlash over pollution

Nonetheless, as of 4.30pm local time, the AQI of Jakarta has dropped to 121, placing the capital in the sixth spot. 

Jakarta has been making frequent appearances on the list of global cities with the worst air. On Jun 4, it clinched the top spot with an AQI of 210 in the "very unhealthy" level. 

Environmentalists have blamed the bad air on vehicle fumes and emissions from coal-fired power plants.

Several institutions and Jakartans filed a civil lawsuit against the president and seven government institutions last month over air pollution.

READ: Plaintiffs in Jakarta air pollution lawsuit against government brace for long court tussle

The group claimed the authorities have ignored Jakartans' rights to get clean air, risking possible health impact.

On Thursday, President Joko Widodo urged the Jakarta government to switch to electric mass transportation in an effort to reduce emission of air pollutants in the city.

"We have to start it soon, at least for mass transportation, such as buses.

"I will convey the need for electric buses and taxis to the (Jakarta) governor," the president was quoted as saying by local news agency Antara.

Source: Agencies/ks(tx)

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