Toxic Air Quality Is a Silent Killer in India: Shashi Tharoor

Children – who study at the RMN Foundation free school – have launched a new pollution-control campaign in Delhi. Photo: Rakesh Raman / RMN News Service
Children – who study at the RMN Foundation free school – have launched a new pollution-control campaign in Delhi. Photo: Rakesh Raman / RMN News Service

Toxic Air Quality Is a Silent Killer in India: Shashi Tharoor

An Indian Member of Parliament Shashi Tharoor says that toxic air quality is a silent killer in India and the air we breathe has itself become a public health crisis.

Addressing the Parliament of India on Thursday, Tharoor raised a number of issues related to increasing air pollution in the country and climate change.

He said that the pollution has become a perennial problem in India and it has direct impact on India’s economy, as a significant amount of India’s GDP is spent on health care related to poisonous air quality.

[ Download and Read: Delhi Disaster Report 2019 ]

Tharoor added that children are particularly affected by air pollution and many people are leaving Delhi / India because of the toxic quality of air. He suggested that there is an immediate need to chalk out a national strategy to combat air pollution.

As India is the most polluted country in the world, the pollution from India is spreading in all parts of the world. A new IQAir AirVisual report, which covered 3,000 cities of the world, has revealed that Gurugram (a.k.a. Gurgaon) a suburb of the Indian capital New Delhi is the most polluted city of the world while 22 of the top 30 polluted cities are in India.

Delhi remains the most polluted national capital across the world, as per a study conducted by the environment-protection organization Greenpeace. The air quality in the national capital region has been constantly deteriorating.

An interactive tool on the Breathe Life 2030 website shows a Particulate Matter (PM) 2.5 level of 143 micrograms per cubic metre (annual mean) in Delhi. This is over 14 times more than the WHO (World Health Organization) safe level of 10 µg/m3. Simply put, the people of Delhi are inhaling poison from the air.

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Rakesh Raman