Last weekend, I took my day off to spend Christmas outside the city. I was fed up with air pollution, so, I travelled to the mountains where I found clean air to breathe.
You might think this isn’t a big deal, but to be honest, it is. Air pollution in our country has been on the rise for a couple of years now. Not just cities but rural areas as well are contributing to the higher rates of air pollution.
Recently in an interview, Kalpana Balakrishnan, director of WHO Collaborating Center for Occupational and Environmental health concluded that the air pollution in India has become a public health emergency.
What are the main sources that are making Indians suffer?
According to the report of WHO, the poor air quality of India can be the reason one in eight deaths in the near future. It is important for states to fix their priorities. Just so you know, every state, city, and villages have different sources that cause air pollution.
In a study, it was found that solid cooking fuels such as wood and coal are the single largest source of air pollution in India.
Almost 24% of total air pollution in the country is caused by the lack of clean cooking fuel in rural areas.
While in cities like New Delhi, the main source of pollution is caused by the vehicular emission of carbon gasses. Though you’ll be surprised to know that these vehicles only cause 2% of the total air pollution in the country.
What should the State do?
The first step these states should take is to provide clean cooking fuels in rural areas. The reason behind this is the fact that poor ambient air quality in rural areas also affect our cites.
While in the cities, the restriction of vehicles is important, to bring down the pollution. Though, in cities such as Mumbai, Chattisgarh, and UP, the authorities will have to take a different path. As both ambient and household pollution levels are very high in these states.
Air pollution has reached a dangerous level in India, it’s not just a topic of debate anymore. Poor air quality has become a health emergency and it is virtually impacting every human being. Not just the government but we too have to take a step on our own. Maybe not taking your car to work every day is a good start.