The Central Pollution Control Board (CPCB) has sounded the death knell to 94 cities in the country where pollution levels are not meeting the set standards. Topping the chart are Maharashtra with 17 cities, including Pune, and Uttar Pradesh with 15 cities. Other states in the top ten of the 22-state CPCB list are Punjab (8), Himachal Pradesh (7), Odisha (6), Rajasthan (5), Madhya Pradesh (5), Andhra Pradesh (5), Assam (5) and Karnataka (4).
The board has pinned the blame on civic bodies for “not sharing responsibilities” to curb air pollution. “If civic bodies can provide clean water, why can’t they provide air,” the CPCB questioned, while referring to the list of 94 cities and districts that was tabled in Parliament earlier this month.
The World Health Organization says that outdoor air pollution is a major environmental health problem and estimates that in 2012, nearly 72% of outdoor air pollution-related premature deaths were due to ischaemic heart disease and strokes; 14% of deaths were due to chronic obstructive pulmonary disease or acute lower respiratory infections, and 14% were due to lung cancer.
By: Swati Kaushal