(The move by IMA comes in the wake of Airpocalypse-IV report released by Greenpeace in January)
Chennai, Tuesday: Indian Medical Association (IMA) Tamil Nadu Chapter has expressed grave concerns on the worsening air quality levels in cities of Tamil Nadu. In a letter, addressed to Mr. Prakash Javdekar, Minister of Environment, Forests and Climate Change, IMA has called air pollution not only an environmental issue but health and economic issue as well. It has demanded the government to include all the non-attainment cities in the National Clean Air Programme (NCAP) and also increase the number of air quality monitoring stations in the state.
It is noteworthy that IMA’s letter has come in the wake of the recent Airpocalypse-IV Report released by Greenpeace India earlier this month. According to the Airpocalypse-IV four cities of Tamilnadu including the capital Chennai have fared in the list of polluted cities, their air quality have been found to be much higher than the prescribed 60ug/m3 National Ambient Air Quality Standards (NAAQS) and 20 ug/m3 by World Health Organization (WHO).
Reacting to the move, Dr. C.N Raja, President of IMA Tamil Nadu said, “Air means life. No life can survive with air which is polluted. This is a man-made disaster, we the modern man in this industrial world making a miserable environment. We should take the responsibility to give clean air for now and ever by respecting mother nature.”
Greenpeace India has appreciated IMA’s crucial intervention in the fight against air pollution. Avinash Chanchal, Senior Campaigner at Greenpeace India said, “It’s encouraging to see that the doctor’s association is coming forward to fight air pollution.”
It is worth noting that only 8 cities are equipped with air quality monitoring devices in Tamilnadu. More than 20 cities have no air quality monitoring system. To get an accurate picture of the levels of pollution in the state, air quality of the entire state needs to be monitored. “The first step to deal with air pollution has to be the installation of air quality monitoring devices in all the cities and districts. The state’s deteriorating air quality demands an urgent robust monitoring system and a specific clean air action plan for all the polluted cities,” said Chanchal.