Citizens across the Western Balkans are breathing heavily these days.
Smog has caused the most problems in Sarajevo, and there are more and more complaints coming from Banja Luka.
In some parts of Sarajevo, the air is marked as dangerous. By far the most alarming in the area is from Čengič Vila and Otoka towards Ilidža.
Due to pollution, serious consequences for all are possible. The most vulnerable categories of the population, pregnant women, children, as well as people with chronic problems should remain indoors.
The Cantonal Ministry of the Interior says that they exclude vehicles whose engines are Euro 3 and smaller. However, only one vehicle was excluded.
Smog related complaints are also coming from Banja Luka residents.
Compared to yesterday, the situation in Banja Luka was much more favorable last night. There is no fog and visibility is good, and it is easier to breathe compared to the previous evening.
The mayor reiterated today that despite the subjective sentiment of citizens, the measurement results do not show air pollution.
Although certain sites show high levels of pollution, the mayor says the data is not relevant. Air quality is also being warned in Zagreb and Belgrade, where an emergency meeting in the Serbian government was called.
After much public pressure, the Serbian government finally put air pollution on the agenda. Representatives of all relevant institutions attended the meeting with the Prime Minister and ministers.
Goran Trivan, Minister of Environmental Protection of Serbia, said: “It has been agreed that short-term measures will be taken regarding air pollution in cities across Serbia. It is possible to undertake activities similar to those in force in Sarajevo and Northern Macedonia. measures, but a group has been formed to propose solutions. In the coming days, competent institutions will give citizens instructions on how to behave during pollution. ”
The situation is alarming in central Serbia in cities: Valjevo and Kosjerić.
According to the Environmental Protection Agency, the air is “heavily polluted” in Belgrade, Užice, Niš, Bor, Panćevo, Smederevo, Beočin.
– When I called Ana Brnabic this morning, I asked her if the minister in charge of the environment was alive – said Aleksandar Vučić, president of Serbia.
In comparison to Belgrade, the situation in the previous days was much worse in Sarajevo, which is still the most polluted city today.
The “alert” episode is still in effect. Car owners with diesel engines of a category lower than Euro 3 are prohibited from using four-wheelers.
Citizens are advised not to leave their homes or to wear protective masks.
– Protect can also be a scarf, a handkerchief, which is put on the mouth and protect citizens from particles larger than PM 10 – says pulmonologist Teufik Hadžiosmanović.
Compared to previous days in Banja Luka today the air is slightly lighter. Although the Purple air site again shows high pollution, the mayor of the largest city in Srpska says – those measurements are irrelevant.
Air Quality Measurement for City Administration is done by the Institute of Civil Engineering. Several parameters are monitored, the results are not online, but the mayor says – they’re not even worrying.
– Since November, which is interesting, in December until today, we have not had any exceedances in any other parameter, except through NO2, in no day or hour, except for soot and floating particles – says Mayor Igor Radojičić.
Despite this, the mayor admits that pollution can occur when the smog goes down on the city.
Although he claims the situation is far from alarming, he has given orders to develop new guidelines for the action plan.
The idea is to reduce the use of cars, check the quality of fuel and engines and energy efficiency of buildings.