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                                        Volume. 11870

Clean air in Tehran vanishes quickly
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On Saturday morning the snow-covered mountains in northern Tehran were clearly seen. The clean air came after two days of on-off raining on Wednesday and Thursday and a following Friday which is holiday in Iran. 
 However, this sunny and clean air did not last long and again the shadow of pollution landed on the city and the beautiful mountains in northern Tehran went out of sight.  
There are different reasons with varying degrees for air pollution in Tehran and other big cities in the country most among them low quality gasoline or diesel, large number of motorcycles, inefficient and insufficient public transport system, excessive use of private cars, substandard cars, low gasoline price, indifference toward environmental issues by citizens, etc.  
Some experts say that each motorcycle produces pollutants as much as seven passenger cars. This is in addition to the noise pollution that these vehicles produce.
Though local auto companies have failed to raise their standards in producing fuel efficient cars they have been enjoying the unjustified support of successive governments; Car companies were also allowed to raised their prices to great extent in the previous administration. 
An indecision by officials to put an end to the monopoly of auto companies in producing substandard cars have come at the cost of people’s lives. 
Rahmatollah Hafezi, the chairman of the health committee of the Tehran City Council has said about 227 people die of air pollution in the country per month. Hafezi also blamed cars and motorcycles for 70-80 percent of air pollution.
Also, a decision by the Oil Ministry to become self-sufficient in gasoline production, which its use is constantly increasing, has led to production of low quality gasoline, again at the cost of people’s lives.     
On the other hand, officials and mass media outlets, especially the state-funded national TV, have failed to train eco-friendly citizens.  In addition, NGOs are not active in raising public awareness about the calamities of air pollution or raising their voice against government in addressing the issue. 
What is clear is that citizens, especially in big cities, have been taken hostage by substandard cars and motorcycles and people are being deprived of breathing fresh air.
We hope that the new administration will not just pay lip service to the issue of air pollution and immediately start doing concrete action. 
 

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