The National Ecological Association warned on Tuesday that there 19 percent of the population of Serbia is not covered by the automatic air quality monitoring system.
The NGO said in a press release the authorities at every level are denying that air pollution is a problem, postponing necessary measures. The Association said that it’s Air 2021 report was drawn up because the authorities are ignoring experts and trying to present the situation as better than it really is. The report used data from a number of air quality monitoring portals to present an objective image from all automatic air quality monitoring stations.
“Objectively, the problem is in the incompetence of decision makers, the ignoring of expert opinions with an inexplicable need to present the evident situation better than it really is and that motivated us to draft this report to provide adequate, fact-based information to the widest possible circle of people,” it said.
The report said that the towns of Kragujevac, Zrenjanin, Leskovac, Krusevac, Vranje, Sombor, Loznica, Jagodina, Stara Pazova, Kikinda, Pirot, Backa Palanka, Ruma, Paracin, Sremska Mitrovica, Pozarevac and Zaječar (all of which have more than 50,000 residents each) do not have an air quality monitoring system. “Those towns have about 1.35 million inhabitants or 19 percent of the population of Serbia, and the recommendations by high-ranking state officials not to use what they say is unverified data and apps should be explained primarily to the people living in them and they would not know the quality of the air they breathe without so-called civic monitoring,” the Association said.