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The Quest For Clean Air

Air pollution is costing lives. Too many of us are breathing dirty, toxic air and facing its direct consequences.

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New Delhi | 1st November 2018 | When India especially Delhi and other northern regions are battling with severe air pollution, India’s announcement of National Clean Air Programme by next month comes as good news. While presenting on air pollution, Mr. Satyendra Kumar, Deputy Secretary at the MoEF&CC (Ministry of Environment Forest and Climate Change) in India assured India will have a comprehensive, timebound & target reduction plan by December 2018.

The acknowledgement that Air Pollution is causing a health emergency at the international platform by MoEF&CC is a good thing however a lot of time has been wasted to acknowledge it. The first ever WHO conference on Air Pollution and Health gave a ray of hope by highlighting the seriousness and urgency of the issue.

Sunil Dahiya, Senior Air Pollution Campaigner, Greenpeace India
“After the MoEFCC presentation, I want to believe that now Dr Harsh Vardhan and MoEF&CC will enforce the National Clean Air Programme without any further delay. The programme has been in discussion since October last year and despite coming up with a draft plan in April 2018, the ministry continues to sit on it. This is nothing but a clear absence of political will and coordination.”

“Despite knowing all the polluting sources from industries, power plants transport systems, to episodic events like stubble burning and Diwali, there seems to be an absolute lack of synchronisation between policies and its implementation. Even if the NCAP is enforced, its compliance is going to be a large bottle neck.”

“Looking at how the public health emergency has been dealt with in the past years, the talks must translate into action- the way MoEFCC have been shying away from announcing the clean air plan, we really anticipate for an aggressive, time bound & target oriented NCAP to achieve clean air & breathable India.

A media report mentions, “India will aim to reduce air pollution by 20% to 30% by 2024, an environment ministry official said on the sidelines of the first ever WHO summit on air pollution in Geneva.”, If this is true my question is – can this help India Breathe? This does not at all look ambitious and will not help save lives of millions of Indians as well as economy with the urgency it needs right now.”

“We are in a Health Emergency right now, we hope that the commitment made at the WHO sees the light of the day with ambitious targets”.

For further enquiry, contact:
Madhulika Verma; Greenpeace India; mverma@greenpeace.org, +919971137736
Sunil Dahiya; Greenpeace India; sdahiya@greenpeace.org, +919013673250