Global experts call for better coordination between center, states to curb air pollution


New Delhi: Global experts on Wednesday called for better coordination between the central and state governments in India to collectively tackle the problem of air pollution.

Experts, who have been researching on the measures to curb air pollution across the world, also urged the Indian government to ensure that the states and the monitoring agencies take the primary responsibilities being given to them as part of their role towards the environment.

“Air pollution control is a collective effort. There needs to be unique policy and program on the ways to curb it down. There has been a gap between the states and the Center on such issues, unlike the US, where one policy is collectively implemented by every governing body,” said Lesley Onyon, the WHO’s South East Asia Regional Advisor for Occupational and Environmental Health.

She was speaking at a discussion on air pollution titled “Your Breath is Your Health” at the American Center here.

She said that while a law is being implemented, it has to be ensured that it is properly implemented in terms of its administrative and civil sides.

About lack of law to control household air pollution, considered one of the major reasons behind breathing problems, Onyon said household air pollution was responsible for 40 percent of lung diseases in India.

“Household air pollution causes 39 percent of chronic obstructive pulmonary diseases (COPD), 39 percent of Ischemic Heart Diseases (IHD) and 37 percent of strokes. So, it becomes vital for India to come up with a stringent law,” said the WHO officer.

Srikant S. Nadadur, program director of the National Institute of Environmental Health Research Science, emphasized on having harsh laws on crop burning, entry of cars from one state to another and on burning of wood in winter, which has become one of the major reasons for the increase of carbon in the air.