30 July, 2021

Yes, Prime Minister!

Political will is a must if India were to win the battle against air pollution, one of the biggest crises facing the country

Photographs by Suresh K. Pandey
Yes, Prime Minister!

While several regions in India has experienced very poor air quality index (AQI) with high levels of ozone and nitrogen oxide, officials at the Central Pollution Control Board (CPCB) had put in a request with the Ministry Of Environment, Forest and Climate Change that the level of NOx for diesel-powered locomotives recommended by a CPCB expert committee be raised by 64 per cent. The reason being only 29 out of 344 cities meet this criterion. However, this would gut the CPCB’s effort to control this deadly emission.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi launched the Clean India programme to tackle India’s rising pollution levels and on September 17, 2014, India announced a three-parameter AQI, which now has been expanded to eight parameters. The Indian AQI parameters are Particulate Matter (M5), Particulate Matter (M10), Nitrogen Dioxide (NO2), Ozone (O3), Sulphur dioxide (SO2), Greenhouse gas (NH3) and Carbon monoxide (CO). There is worldwide agreement—the main factors for air pollution are two: Particulate Matters (PM) and Nitrogen dioxide (NO2). Nitrogen oxide...

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