Its high time govt took pollution data seriously, asserts expert

air pollution in asia pacific
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New Delhi (NVI): Air pollution in the country and especially in the national capital during the last few years has touched a very dangerous level and its high time the government put health above all, a leading environment expert feels.

According to Vivek Chattopahyaya Senior Programme Manager, Air Pollution Control Programme, Centre for Science and Environment (CSE), every year several reports and studies are published giving India increasing higher spot in the list of pollution affected countries of the world. “But the Government is not taking these data seriously. Its time now they should,” the scientist said.

Every year, with the onset of winter, the air quality in the country especially in northern India turns hazardous with many reasons including stubble burning contributing to the factor.

“While stubble burning remains the main contributor to the pollution, but we cannot just single it out as vehicular emission, crackers, pollution from small industries, localise dusts including from roads and construction activities also aggravate the quality of air,” Chattopahyaya told NVI.

“In the last few days PM2.5 has crossed 250 units, which has put the air quality in the very severe category,” he added.

He said that stubble burning from neighbouring states contribute to 40 percent of the air pollution, that does not mean farmers have to be put behind bars.

“The farmers are just following the traditional practice of stubble burning. They cannot be put behind bars. But, local actions implemented in the areas should also not be diluted. Farmers need to be educated on how to effectively dispose the crop residues,” he said.

Stating that the government can play an important role, the CSE scientist said that the government(s) need to capitalise on these crop residues. These stubble could be put into purposeful use such as fodder, energy and etc in other states.

The scientist also held crackers equally responsible for worsening of the air quality in the national capital.

“The Supreme Court had ordered bursting of only green crackers, but I don’t know whether any eco-friendly crackers were used. Lots of crackers were burst during Diwali. We as a citizens need to understand the ill-effect of polluted air and its implication on our health,” he said.

He said that people can play an important role in fighting this menace. “They can become eyes and ears of the government and agencies. If they see any vehicle emitting carbon on any one violating environmental norms, they can take picture and share them on social media so that it comes to the notice of the the establishment and violators are penalised. People can also contribute in fighting pollution by practicing car pooling and parking their two wheeler and taking public transport”.

Meanwhile, the air quality in Delhi is Hazardous. The Central Pollution Control Board (CPCB) has sent 45 teams to the field in various parts of NCR to gives alerts and suggests remedies to the concerned agencies.