Pollution problem can’t be resolved in a day, continuous efforts needed: Minister

Prakash Javadekar

New Delhi: Major factors behind air pollution in the country are traffic, industries, waste, dust, stubble, geography and meteorology, said Union Environment Minister Prakash Javadekar.

Interacting with people during a Facebook Live event, he said the pollution problem cannot be resolved in a day and continuous efforts are needed to tackle each of the contributing factors.

Stating that dust is the major factor behind air pollution in north India, he added that the soil type here is alluvial. Therefore, there’s a lot of dust, which is the major reason behind air pollution in the region.

“Dust suppressant and water sprinklers are used to tackle it… We have also been asking all agencies, (State) governments and corporations, to close unpaved roads,” Javadekar said.

“The pollution problem cannot be resolved in one day. Continuous efforts needed to tackle each of the contributing factors,” he added.

He said that tackling pollution in Delhi is not just the responsibility of municipal corporations and the city government, and added: “The air shed is large and includes parts of Rajasthan, Haryana, Uttar Pradesh.”

“After a number of meetings over the years, we have prepared short-term, medium-term and long-term plans and reviewed the progress,” he said.

Meanwhile, a recent study has claimed that long-term exposure to urban air pollution, especially NO2, may make Covid-19 more deadly.

Published in The Innovation journal, the study analysed key urban air pollutants, including fine particle matter (PM2.5), nitrogen dioxide (NO2), and ozone (O3), across 3,122 counties in the US from January to July.

Donghai Liang of Emory University in the US said, “Both long-term and short-term exposure to air pollution has been associated with direct and indirect systemic impact on the human body by enhancing oxidative stress, acute inflammation, and respiratory infection risk.”

To examine the association between ambient air pollutants and the severity of Covid-19 outcomes, the researchers investigated two major death outcomes, the case-fatality rate — number of deaths among the people who are diagnosed with Covid-19 — and the mortality rate, which is the number of Covid-19 deaths in the population.

 

NT Bureau