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Hanoi to Deploy Water Trucks to Keep Dust, Summer Heat at Bay

Hanoi authorities are planning to re-deploy water trucks to city streets to keep dust and heat at bay in the sweltering summer months.

The US$4.9 million budget for the scheme will be allocated on a case-by-case basis by district, with Cau Giay District getting a significant US$472,000, and on the other end of the funding spectrum, Dong Anh District receiving just US$21,500, reports VnExpress.

Streets that collect the most dust will see the highest frequency of washing, and such decisions will be made daily by local authorities based on the current levels of dust and heat. In addition, such operations will need to comply with environmental sanitation guidelines and avoid inferring with normal street sweeping activities.

Many central streets will get multiple washings per week, including the walking street zone around Hoan Kiem Lake, while Ly Thuong Kiet, Tran Hung Dao and Hai Ba Trung streets will receive a daily treatment. Outlying districts like Dong Anh, Thuong Tin and Me Linh will see fewer cleanings.

The water trucks were removed from Hanoi’s streets in 2017 when they were deemed inefficient, and were replaced by a fleet of German-built vacuum vehicles. However, with worsening air pollution, the water trucks have been pressed back into service.

Hanoi’s air quality has been steadily deteriorating, with a 2019 report finding that air pollution in the Vietnamese capital rose from an average PM2.5 level of 40.8 in 2018 to 46.9 in 2019, overtaking Beijing in the rankings.

The worsening air quality is fueled by industrial activities and vehicles, and is exacerbated by farmers burning their fields. The city’s air pollution reached its worst level in five years last autumn, according to a government report released on October 2.