Indian Officials Upset By Lack Of Progress In Fighting Air Pollution
04 May, 2018, 13:54 | Author: Tina Rodriquez
Kanpur, a northern city on the banks of the Yamuna River, recorded an annual average PM2.5 level of 173 micrograms per cubic meter, several times higher than the World Health Organization recommendation of no more than 10 mcg per cubic meter.
It is noteworthy that nearly 1 million vehicles are added on the roads of Delhi every year and in spite of increased construction activities and vehicular movement, air quality in Delhi is showing signs of improvement.
Delhi: The national capital ranked sixth in terms of PM 2.5 with an annual average of 143 g/m3 in 2016.
Here in the United Kingdom, it's believed that around 40,000 deaths every year can be made attributable to exposure to outdoor air pollution. The world's ten most polluted cities are Indian.
In a call for Member States to take action urgently, World Health Organisation (WHO) Director-General, Tedros Adhanom Gebreyesus, warned that air pollution "threatens us all, but the poorest and most marginalised people bear the brunt of the burden".
Hold on! This is not it, you will get shocked to know that the next 13 cities in the list were also all from here, namely: Faridabad, Varanasi, Gaya, Patna, Delhi, Lucknow, Agra, Muzaffarpur, Srinagar, Gurgaon, Jaipur, Patiala and Jodhpur.
According to WHO's ambient air quality database, despite some improvements, pollution levels are "still dangerously high" in most parts of the world.
Three other cities of the state picked by World Health Organization for pollution measurement were Kota, Alwar Udaipur and Alwar which stand at number 75, 76 and 83 in the list. "The government has also taken several bold initiatives, including leap-frogging from BS-IV to BS-VI", it said. Non-communicable diseases are the leading cause of deaths globally and in the region, and air pollution contributes significantly to NCDs such as cardiovascular disease, respiratory disease and lung cancer.
"Many of the world's megacities exceed WHO's guideline levels for air quality by more than 5 times, representing a major risk to people's health", Maria Neira, director of the Department of Public Health, Social and Environmental Determinants of Health at WHO, said, adding, there is an acceleration of political interest to deal with this global public health challenge.
"We know there is a strong link between poor air quality and heart health with nearly six in ten global deaths (58%) related to outdoor air pollution caused by a heart attack or stroke".
"It is unacceptable that over 3 billion people - majority women and children - are still breathing deadly smoke every day from using polluting stoves and fuels in their homes". But she noted that the increased commitment to recording air pollution data to date, had come mostly from high-income countries.
"With similar intervention in other polluted cities and active participation of ULBs (urban local bodies) and state governments, air quality is expected to improve further", the ministry said.
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