Air pollution is responsible for 12.5% of deaths in India: CSIR

Vice President at the 15th International Conference on Metal Ions 2019

Nagpur (NVI): Air pollution was responsible for 12.5 per cent of all deaths in India as most of the cities battle over the “poor” or “severe” air quality levels, according to the findings of the Centre for Science and Environment’s State of India’s Environment (SoE) Report, 2019.

This was informed by the Vice President of India M Venkaiah Naidu while Inaugurating the ‘International Conference on Ions’ at CSIR– National Environmental Engineering Research Institute (NEERI) in here on October 30.

While Speaking on the Occasion, Vice President stated that environmental pollution and deterioration in the air quality was among the foremost challenges faced by the country today, Naidu stressed that one could not think about building a safe, secure, healthy and prosperous future when our cities, the engines of growth are choking in noxious fumes and when water and soil are polluted.

Calling for immediate measures to reduce emissions, he stressed the need to promote clean and renewable sources of energy. He also suggested regular cleaning, preservation, and maintenance of water bodies, which were becoming toxic with increased urbanization and other related factors.

Naidu observed that environment degradation would have a direct impact on the development of the nation. Referring to the World Economic Forum findings, he said that the cost of environmental degradation in India was estimated to be Rs. 3.75 trillion ($80 billion) a year.

Observing that a number of studies have linked cancer to several environmental factors including pollution and radiation, the he said that the second-most common cause of death in India after cardiovascular disease must receive attention from both doctors and policymakers.

He stressed the need to constantly innovate and create new, less invasive treatment protocols for cancer that were affordable and accessible to common people. “Human health and wellbeing are fundamental to the progress of any nation. We must ensure that every citizen has a good quality of life and access to opportunities for growth and prosperity,” he said.

The Vice President said that understanding environmental and health hazards associated with socio-economic development has become essential and urged scientists and technocrats to reorient their research towards identifying the cause and mitigation measures.

He also urged upon the scientific community, researchers and scholars to encourage people’s participation in dealing with issues such as rising levels of pollution in Air, water and degradation of vital environmental resources. Shri Naidu said that it was essential that people were made partners in the developmental process of the nation in all aspects.

During the event Vice President also launched the “Jagruti Programme: Ek Samaj Ek Lakshya”  by unveiling the brochure during 15th International Conference and said that efforts must be made by the scientists and researchers to guide people especially the youth to adopt sustainable modes of living and provide them research inputs in local languages for better understanding of the common people.

-sb