New Delhi | Jagran News Desk: Increasing levels of air pollution have become a major issue for people living in Delhi-NCR. According to the World Health Organisation (WHO), air pollution is one of the most dangerous environmental threats. About 91 per cent of the world's population is compelled to breathe poisonous air, according to a report.

Air pollution in India:

According to a Greenpeace study, Delhi is one of the worst-hit global cities that have been severely affected by air pollution. According to a report, 24,000 people lost their lives due to air pollution last year. In 2020, the level of air pollution in Delhi was almost six times more than the limit set by the WHO. The economic loss due to air pollution during this period was estimated at 8.1 billion dollars, which was 13 per cent of Delhi's annual GDP.

Apart from Delhi, 25,000 premature deaths were estimated in Mumbai in 2020 while 12,000 premature deaths were estimated in Bangalore, 11,000 in Chennai, and 11,000 in Hyderabad due to polluted air, Dainik Jagran reported.

Steps taken by India to control air pollution:

1 - Air Quality Management Commission: In order to deal with worsening air quality in Delhi-NCR, the central government has constituted the Air Quality Management Commission. The state government will also make efforts to curb air pollution and will be responsible for determining the air quality parameters for the region.

2 - Bharat Stage Standards/ Norms: These are the emission control standards issued by the government to monitor air pollution.

3 - National Clean Air Program: Launched in 2019, it is India's flagship program for better air quality in 102 cities.

4 - National Air Quality Index: The National Air Quality Index focuses on health problems that a person can experience within a few hours or days of breathing polluted air.

5 - Pradhan Mantri Ujjwala Yojana: The main objective of the scheme is to provide clean cooking fuel solutions to poor households especially in rural areas.

According to environmentalist Vijay Badhel, though governments of 30 countries have collected real-time data on air pollution, they do not provide accurate information. On the contrary, countries which have the air pollution data, show a lot of variation in its format, making it difficult to analyze it properly. This is the reason that despite having data in these countries, it is not used properly and the measures being taken to improve air quality are not successful.

Badhel also mentioned that institutions that are responsible for achieving the standards across the world are in a very dilapidated condition and only 33 per cent of countries have implemented the obligations to meet legal mandate standards. He said only 37 per cent of the countries have understood its importance.

Posted By: Mallika Mehzabeen