Easterlies raise hopes for end of pollution nightmare The pall of choking pollution continued to plague the city yesterday, blurring views, confining those with respiratory difficulties indoors and contributing to a spate of minor collisions on the water. Roadside air pollution readings at Central and Mongkok reached peaks of 136 and 123 respectively. Readings at other air quality monitoring stations across the city hovered between 70 and 99 during the day. Environment officials said the pollutants generated locally and across the border were still trapped in the air due to the lack of wind. But the pollutants are likely to be blown away from today as the summer's prevailing easterly wind picks up. These pollutants are mainly generated by the power plants and traffic in the region. Some of the pollutants react with each other under sunlight, further producing smog that in turn lowers visibility. 'It is hard for us to separate how much the pollutants are generated locally or across the border as the situations might vary from place to place and time to time,' said Raymond Leung Pak-ming, principal environmental protection officer. According to government figures, power plants in the city accounted for at most 63 per cent of the total emission of three major pollutants - nitrogen oxides, sulphur dioxides and respirable suspended particles. The two power companies are the biggest polluters in the city, generating 40,000 and 60,100 tonnes of nitrogen oxides and sulphur dioxide in 2002. Vehicles were the second largest source of pollution, producing 27,500 tonnes of nitrogen oxides. The remainder was from aircraft, ships and other fuel combustion processes. Hong Kong and Guangdong have signed an agreement to cut emissions for the Pearl River Delta region by 2010.