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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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Delhi has been in under global watch for alarming air pollution levels

Greenpeace recently launched a campaign calling on Delhi Governement to take action on the capital’s toxic air pollution.

On 10th March, Greenpeace along with Centre for Occupational Environment and Health (COEH), met the Delhi Health Minister Shri Satyendra Jain on Tuesday.

The proposal of the health advisory highlights various aspects of pollution levels, repercussion of pollution levels along with recommendations that can be implemented on a day-to-day basis for schools as well as the general public. Advocating the urgency for a health advisory, Dr TK Joshi, Director-Centre for Environment Occupational and Health said “children are our future, their health is our priority and we should give them a safe and healthy environment with the best of our ability, otherwise their growth and development will be impacted heavily”.

Emphasising on the immediate need for an action plan, Greenpeace Campaigner, Aishwarya Madineni said “it was heartening to get an assurance from the Health Minister that he will look into the matter seriously. The minister has also said that the Govt will be launching a campaign on air pollution soon and that he will look into the health advisory recommendations submitted. We hope that the Govt takes up the recommendations we’ve made during the meeting on empowering school authorities with information on understanding the air quality in the city and the need to implement the respective health-safety measures associated with it seriously. As research by USEPA and WHO suggests, Children are the most vulnerable section of the population and exposure to air pollution will mean decreased lung functioning and development. Hopefully we will see some action on this front from the Govt soon”.

According to the Atmospheric Pollution Research Journal, National Capital Region (NCR) faces the highest health risks from air pollution. The increasing level of PM2.5 matter is not only hazardous for children but also causing problems like rapid increase in respiratory and cardiovascular mortality. Despite hard evidences on deteriorating air quality, there have been no concrete measures towards improving the air quality in the city. However the newly formed Delhi government has emphasised in its manifesto on bringing down pollution by giving incentives for low emission fuels and investing in clean energy. With assurance from the Health Minister Mr Satyendra Jain, Greenpeace hopes that the new government will issue health advisories to schools and the citizens of Delhi on an immediate note to help secure the health of Delhi-ites and make Delhi a world class city once again.