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Chita suffocates in smog
The capital of Transbaikalia was in a smoke blockade
The capital of the Trans-Baikal Territory is choking for the second week from the dense smoke that has covered the entire city with dense coal shroud. The authorities shrug their hands - Chita is in the pit, the winter is calm, so the smoke from the private sector settles at home. How many residents will suffocate from smoke and hopelessness is unknown.
Phenol and dust
According to observations of the State Service for Monitoring Air Pollution, FSBI Zabaykalskoye UGMS, for example, on January 15 in the region there were no cases of extremely high and high air pollution. Nevertheless, in Chita the maximum permissible concentration of phenol was exceeded in the Central, Ingodinsky, Chernovsk and Zheleznodorozhny districts on average 1,7 times, in the Ingodinsky and Central districts - suspended solids, dust - 1,5 times. The city is covered with dense smog with minimal visibility, the smell of coal is in the air.
Many say that Chita is covered every year with smog, but the winter of 2019-2020 turned out to be snowless and calm, therefore everything that the local thermal power station, private sector stoves, boiler houses and cars produces in the city. The sunniest city in Russia has become a dangerous place to live. Residents are advised to be less outdoors, to carry out wet cleaning. Previously, such advice was given in the summer when forests were burning.
Do not breathe deeply
The priority air pollutants in Chita are suspended solids, sulfur dioxide, carbon monoxide, dioxides and nitric oxide, hydrogen sulfide, phenol, formaldehyde, soot and benzopyrene. As a result, this leads to an increase in the incidence of residents. The leading position among all age groups is occupied by respiratory diseases.
“I, as a specialist in lung diseases, are concerned that this is precisely a large number of suspended particles in the air. These are small carbon-containing particles, organic dust - about 10-20 times less than the diameter of a human hair. We don’t see them, we go outside, we smell burning, we see fog, but the most dangerous thing is that the particles get into small sections of the airways and their size doesn’t allow them to go back, ”explains Sergey Lukyanov, the main part-time pulmonologist at the Ministry of Health of the Trans-Baikal Territory .
Doctors say that dirty air will adversely affect the health of any person. It is especially dangerous for people suffering from cardiovascular diseases, as well as chronic bronchitis, bronchial asthma and other pulmonary diseases.
“I work in the main hospitals of the city of Chita and in the Center for Disaster Medicine: I consult, I examine patients every day and see now in almost every city intensive care unit of patients with pulmonary infections or an exacerbation of chronic respiratory diseases,” the doctor said.
At risk are the elderly, children and pregnant women. Even if a person is completely healthy, prolonged exposure to such particles causes inflammation in the airways.
Now doctors do not yet have a final report for the last year, however, indicative statistics of morbidity during periods of heavy smoke is traced. For example, last year, the incidence scale jumped up in April and May - when there were no outbreaks. Doctors attribute such a leap to forest fires and smoke. At that time, people began to call an ambulance more often and contact polyclinics themselves. Now doctors are predicting a new surge in visits to hospitals.
To improve the situation with smog in Chita, nothing can be done so far, while the heating season is on, Chita will continue to remain in the top ten cities in Russia with the dirtiest air.
“Children in kindergarten do not walk because of the smoke. I try to take my youngest child home from the garden right away, as little as possible to be in the air. The eldest son used to walk from early childhood in any weather, before we went to the hills and sledded. It is impossible to ventilate the apartment - immediately there is a sharp smell of coal, black dust settles on the windowsills. If you imagine that children breathe this - it becomes scary. In the summer months, when the fires, we go to the village, there the air is clean. Is it really necessary to completely leave the city? Due to the lack of fresh air and sun, the children are white and nervous, ”said a resident of Chita, Alexander Leontiev.
According to her, a humidifier and an air purifier work without interruption at home, but sometimes even under such conditions the eyes begin to watery, shortness of breath appears.
Clean air only plans
In the summer in Chita, they plan to close two boiler houses along Shilova and Verkholenskaya Streets as part of the Clean Air federal program. According to authorities, this should improve the environment. The houses connected to them will be transferred to district heating. In general, in Chita it is planned to close eight and upgrade 16 boiler houses. Also, as part of the program, design estimates for the construction of the Kashtak trolleybus line are already ready. For the implementation of large-scale plans until 2024, more than seven billion rubles are provided.
Nevertheless, State Duma deputy from the Trans-Baikal Territory Yuri Volkov said that Chita in 2019 did not receive money for the implementation of the Clean Air project in the framework of the Ecology national project, because of which, in particular, residents were faced with thick smog by the New Year.
“The Accounts Chamber of Russia announced the implementation of national projects. In general, everything is performed neither shakily, nor roll. Worst of all - the national project "Ecology". And the worst part in this national project is the situation with the Clean Air section: financial limits in the amount of 10,9 billion (80%) were blocked due to the lack of necessary regulatory documents. As far as I know, there wasn’t even a dime in Chita, ”Yuri Volkov wrote on Instagram.
He emphasized that from the beginning of the year, the regional and federal authorities should reconsider the approach to the Ecology national project.
Give the gas
The deputy of the Legislative Assembly of Transbaikalia, Roman Berg, prepared an appeal to President Vladimir Putin and the federal government with a request to conduct a central gas supply to Chita. In his opinion, this will solve the problem of smog in the regional capital.
“At present, the Russian government is resolving the issue of gas supplies to China through Mongolia. However, the pipeline is planned to be carried out bypassing the Trans-Baikal Territory. Why not let him go over our land, the Irkutsk region and the Republic of Buryatia? ”, The deputy said in a statement.
According to Berg, Transbaikalia will not be able to otherwise implement the plan of the national project "Ecology", according to which by the end of 2021 the level of air pollution should be reduced by 22%. At the same time, the second governor of the region promised to conduct gas in Transbaikalia, but everything remained at the level of conversation. Now the issue of gasification is very acute, and even the Ministry of Natural Resources of the Territory has started talking about the need to connect the private sector to this fuel.
Reducing the burden on the environment would be possible and more affordable tariffs for electricity. Residents of private houses cannot install electric boilers for heating - the winter, which lasts almost five months in Transbaikalia, is too expensive. Experts from the All-Russian Popular Front believe that Transbaikalia needs subsidies to stimulate motorists and homeowners to transfer to gas.
“Firstly, it is necessary to monitor and calculate the structure of harmful emissions. Find out what is their main supplier. So, in the air there is an emission of the dangerous substance benzopyrene, according to experts, there is reason to believe that this is waste from heating the private sector, which is produced by low-grade coal. Therefore, secondly, it is necessary to consider other sources of heat supply, for example, liquefied gas. Thirdly, it is necessary to revive and equip the equipment with stationary posts for monitoring the harmful emissions of motor vehicles on the main entrance highways. Fourth, the region needs subsidies to stimulate car owners to convert their vehicles to gas, as well as homeowners who are interested in such heating, ”the ONF representatives said.
In November 2018, an appeal from ONF activists with concrete proposals for the implementation of the Clean Air federal project was prepared and sent to the governor of the Trans-Baikal Territory. It is also planned to hold a round table with the involvement of the Ministry of Natural Resources, Rosprirodnadzor, Rospotrebnadzor, representatives of regional media, members of the initiative for a petition "For Clean Air" and others. In the meantime, the Chitins have created a petition to save the city from heavy smoke, now more than nine thousand people have already signed up to it.