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

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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.


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Air Pollution in Delhi Again Reaches ‘Severe’ Levels

The India Meteorological Department (IMD) has forecast light rainfall at isolated places in Delhi over the weekend which might bring down pollution levels

Air Pollution
Delhi air pollution again reaches 'severe' levels. Pixabay

Owing to a rise in humidity and light winds, the overall air quality of the national capital slipped to the ‘severe’ zone on Saturday, despite the authorities predicting it would remain in the ‘very poor’ category.

“Calm winds along with a spike in humidity levels because of an induced Cyclonic Circulation over Northern Plains are the major contributors for a hike in pollution levels in Delhi and adjoining areas,” Mahesh Palawat, Director at private weather forecasting agency Skymet told IANS.

He said that the pollution levels might increase in the coming days as humidity levels are expected to go up due to rains in Punjab, Haryana and Rajasthan.

“Around January 13 and 14, moderate to dense fog is expected to make a comeback, which will result in high pollution levels and minimums will see a drop by a couple of degrees,” he said.

However, the Skymet Director said that post January 15, the air quality might start improving due to cold, north-westerly winds which will blow over the plains of the country.

The System of Air Quality and Weather Forecasting And Research (SAFAR), in its daily pollution analysis, has been maintaining that the air quality in Delhi won’t go beyond the ‘very poor’ category.

Delhi. air pollution
A man rides his bicycle in front of the India Gate shrouded in smog in New Delhi, Dec. 26, 2018. VOA

On Saturday however, many areas in Delhi and adjoining areas at 12 p.m recorded ‘severe’ levels of toxic particulate matter (PM) 2.5.

Anand Vihar at 448, Dwarka sector-8 at 450, ITO at 413, Mundka at 438, Delhi University North Campus at 416, R.K. Puram at 415, and Wazirpur at 434 – all recorded ‘severe’ levels of PM2.5.

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Other areas like Jawaharlal Nehru Stadium, Ashok Vihar, Burari Crossing, Vivek Vihar, Sirifort, Okhla Phase-2 also fared in the same category.

On Wednesday and Thursday, Delhi-NCR witnessed its first better days of the year with the air quality recorded in the ‘poor’ zone.

The India Meteorological Department (IMD) has forecast light rainfall at isolated places in Delhi over the weekend which might bring down pollution levels. (IANS)