Date :01-Aug-2020

THAT a quarter of India’s population is exposed to pollution levels not seen in any other country is a scary reality exposing the lame public policy for pollution control in the country. The latest Air Quality Life Index (AQLI) states that an average Indian will see his/her life cut short by more than five years if the World Health Organisation (WHO) guidelines are not met. Rampant urbanisation of vast landscape across the country has had disastrous effects on the air we breathe. Particulate pollution including that of smoke, fumes and other combustion byproducts has increased sharply by 42 per cent over the last two decades in India. New Delhi presents the stark example of how industrial and vehicle pollution has turned the city into a virtual gas chamber. Other parts of the country, too, are sitting on almost similar danger levels in absence of a robust public policy. In fact, poor air quality has become a universal problem. Global agencies and forum like Paris Climate Meet are engaged in finding a solution to improve the air around us but it cannot be achieved without dedicated cooperation by all the stakeholders. A public policy can only clear the air!