Perspective - Poison in the Air

In this episode of the Perspective Prog. based on Poison in the Air. For humans to survive, breathing is essential. But what’s equally important is what you and I are breathing. And you’ll be shocked to know that across the globe, nine out of 10 people are breathing unclear air, and ultimately around 7 million people die every year from diseases and infections related to air pollution. On National Pollution Control Day today, as India remembers those who lost their lives during the 1984 Bhopal Gas Tragedy, we thought it apt to discuss the hazards of air pollution, which is the leading environmental risk to health. Around the world, more than 90 per cent of people breathe in air that the World Health Organization considers potentially harmful. In India, three cities – Delhi, Kolkata and Mumbai rank among the top 10 cities with the worst air quality indices. This is according to air quality and pollution city tracking service from IQAir, a Switzerland-based climate group that is also a technology partner of the United Nations Environmental Program. The situation is particularly grim in the national capital, where mounting levels of air pollution have triggered concerns of a health emergency. As an immediate measure, the Delhi government has announced closure of all schools in the city till further orders. The Supreme Court has directed the Centre and Delhi government to come out with suggestions to control the pollution within 24 hours. A special bench headed by Chief Justice N V Ramana said it expected serious action on the ground to bring down pollution levels. However, the question is: What measures are required to bring down pollution levels? What are countries doing to address air pollution? What kind of a strategy or action plan has India adopted to address this health challenges?

1. Atul Bagai, Head, India Office, United Nations Environment Programme
2. Dr. Vibha Dhawan, Director General, TERI
3. C.K. Mishra, Former Secretary, Ministry of Environment, Forest & Climate Change, GoI

Anchor: Teena Jha

Producer: Amit Srivastav, Sagheer Ahmad

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