Sarajevo authorities announced here on Friday that free public transportation will be provided for citizens in a bid to reduce car use and exhaust emissions.
Edin Forto, the prime minister of Sarajevo Canton, made the announcement during a formal meeting on air pollution, adding that masks and air purifiers will also be provided to the most vulnerable categories of people in the Canton, especially for children, in the next few days.
The air quality index in Sarajevo, the capital of Bosnia and Herzegovina (BiH) on Friday morning at the Bjelave measuring station, located in the center of the city, was 312 and is dangerous to the population. The air quality measuring devices have been placed in a dozen locations in the city.
According to information from the Federal Meteorological Institute of BiH, the average amount of PM10 particles in the air is over 200 since December 2019, moving on a scale between 120 and 340.
An alarming condition has been declared in Sarajevo for several days due to air pollution and an excessive amount of PM10 particles in the air. This situation has been around since Jan. 11.
During the government meeting on pollution, some citizens protested on the street about the bad air condition.
In addition to Sarajevo, the declared state of alert was also announced in Tuzla, located 120 kilometers northeast of Sarajevo, and in Zenica, about 70 km north of the capital city, Xinhua news agency reports.
At the beginning of 2020, Prozor-Rama Municipality introduced free public transport for all its residents, and, as the only one in the country, including the wider region, solved the traffic congestion problem and reduced air pollution.
Assistant to Mayor of Prozor-Rama Josip Juricic, who is also one of the authors of this project, tells Klix.ba that the idea was actually imposed because of the needs of the residents of the area.
“The idea was imposed through daily work with citizens. We saw a need for general transportation of citizens, and this type of transportation did not exist in our municipality. In addition to the transportation of children from primary and secondary schools, we also organize the transportation of residents, “Juricic explained to Klix.ba.
The Municipality of Prozor-Rama has been fully financing the transportation of pupils for primary schools for years, although this is a legal obligation of the county, as confirmed by a court ruling last year requiring the HNK to pay the municipality for the transportation of primary school students in excess of 500,000 BAM with interest.
However, taking care of its population, the municipality provided free transportation for students of Prozor High School several years ago.
With this project, he stresses, the traffic congestion and air pollution will be reduced, but also make it easier for people who own vehicles to move around.
“The goal is generally to meet our fellow residents, especially those seniors who do not have their own vehicles and who always wait for someone to drive them. They will now be easier to move and thus reduce traffic congestion, which will automatically reduce air pollution, “Juricic explained.