Prime Minister Challenges on Recent Air Pollution Initiatives


The following was translated from local business media regarding the Prime Minister’s new initiative to reduce the price of coal for ger district residents—in contrast with legislation to reduce the use of coal.
According to local media sources, the Prime Minister N.Altankhuyag recently visited the Baganuur Coal Mine and stated: “In order to supply our people with affordable coal, the government will reduce the price of a truck load of coal sized as a ‘porter (Hyundai Porter – pickup truck)’ load which is normally priced at 250 thousand MNT to 100 thousand MNT. The affordable coal will be available to the public in 14 days. This coal will not have any waste materials and will be large or medium-grained. The plans for the job have already been approved.”
The budget-priced coal will be put into sacks of 40 kg and will be sold for 3200 MNT in khoroos. Twenty-five of the 40 kg sacks make up a ton which will be sold at 80 thousand MNT. This means consumers will be able to buy coal almost three times more cheaply than before, according to the Prime Minister’s senior advisor.
On Friday, the Prime Minister spoke with the administrators to Ulaanbaatar Railway shareholders to discuss the transportation of the coal from the Baganuur Coal Mine set for public use. The administrators said that they are able to use 28 wagons for the task and will increase the number during the winter.
This number of wagons can transport 52 thousand ton coal per month and 338 thousand ton within six months to supply the estimated 126 thousand households located in the capital city that consume coal.
They also discussed the cost of coal transportation and pricing and issued guidelines to the government on how to supply a ton of coal which was previously sold for 200 thousand MNT and reduced to 80 thousand MNT.
A four section plan has been approved by the government to limit the combustion of fuel and to reduce air pollution during the heating seasons of 2012-2013.
The first section of the plan is to limit the combustion of coal in 12461 households in the Bayangol District. The second section prohibits the disposal of waste material and garbage through combustion as well as prohibits the use of raw coal for heating in fast service centres (booth shops), pavilions and small enterprises. The third section of the plan states that the full combustive-heating stoves will be fully implemented, which means the 79,605 households of the 42 khoroos that did not receive the new stoves would this year.
In contrast with these initiates, the Prime Minister has said he will reduce the price of raw coal, which is leading to confusion. People ask: So which are we to follow?
On April 18, the governor of Ulaanbaatar and the Minister of Nature, Environment and Tourism approved a policy to discourage the use of raw coal. People now ask, should the residents of Ulaanbaatar abide by the above policy or buy Prime Minister’s cheap coal?
Even more confusing, citizens have said that notices have been placed at the end of every street warning that the use of raw coal will be prohibited and the penalty for its use range from cash fines to confiscation of land. Rumours are that the desperate ger district residents have to sneak out at night to buy a few sacks of coals so that they won’t be fined.
A coking coal factory was to be built adjacent to the Power Station Two in order to supply the capital’s residents with high-quality coal but its construction has been delayed due to “technical” reasons.
As the new Prime Minister has said that it’s acceptable to burn coal, the legislative plans to reduce air pollution by 40 percent are now compromised.
On the positive side, the heating issues of ger district residents should be resolved because they are growing tired of sneaking out to buy coal.
Studies note that the dust level in the capital city has increased by 18 times and the ger district’s continuous use of raw coal contributes to around 90 percent of the CO2 and other harmful gasses in the city’s air. As a direct consequence, research shows that 73 percent of the children residing in Ulaanbaatar show signs of cardiovascular diseases.
One of the biggest results that have come from the campaign against air pollution has been the smoke free stoves. The Millennium Challenge Fund implemented by U.S. has spent 47 million USD to supply 80 thousand households with the Turkish made “Khas” and “Ulzii” stoves. They are currently working to import 30 thousand more. The stoves, which cost around 400 thousand MNT, are reaching local consumers. The public is finally starting to understand the significance of this product and the demand for it is increasing.

Short URL: http://ubpost.mongolnews.mn/?p=1648

Posted by on Oct 29 2012. Filed under Business & Economics. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. You can leave a response or trackback to this entry

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