India Exposed to High Pollution Levels
India recorded the highest annual average PM 2.5 concentration exposure in the world last year according to the recent State of global air 2020 report released by the us-based Health Effects Institute and the Global Burden of Disease. The report also said that India has been recording an increase in PM 2.5 pollution since 2010 contrary to the centre's claims that and all their pollution levels in the country are coming down.
PM 2.5 refers to the micro "particulate matter" present in the air whose average diameter is 2.5 Micron left for reference human hair is around 50 to 70 Micron thick in India air pollution is the highest risk factor because of the huge burden of the premature deaths it contributes to.
According to WHO, it is estimated that around 7 million people die every year from exposure to fine particles in polluted air that penetrate deep into the lungs and cardiovascular system, causing diseases including stroke, heart disease, lung cancer, chronic obstructive pulmonary diseases, and respiratory infections including pneumonia.
Commission to Manage Air Pollution
The president signed an ordinance for setting up a Commission to manage air quality in NCR and adjoining areas. The commission will be chaired by a government official equivalent to the rank of a secretary or chief secretary and it will also include a representative from the Ministry of Environment, members from the state of Delhi, Haryana, Punjab, Uttar Pradesh, Rajasthan and Technical experts from Central Pollution Control Board and ISRO. It will help in better coordination among Institutions, Research and identify problems in improving the air quality in NCR regions.
Rs. 2200 Crore for Improving Air Quality
Based on the recommendations of the 15th finance commission, the central government released Rs 2200 crores as the first installment to 15 States for the improvement of air quality measures in their million-plus cities. The grant will help the states to undertake various air quality measures which include capacity building of the local bodies in their Million-plus cities. The 15th finance commission completed the report under the chairmanship of N.K. Singh.