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India’s response to air pollution is inadequate

While the Delhi’s government’s efforts to tackle air pollution through its past interventions such as “odd-even traffic days” helped reduce traffic congestion on those days, they have not helped the city’s pollution levels much.

Last week, the World Health Organization (WHO) listed 30 Indian cities among the 100 most polluted in the world. However, environment minister Prakash Javadekar has called the list “misleading.” “We will come out with the statistics as people should know the whole picture,” he told Press Trust of India on May 18.

There is no respite for Delhiites as, WHO’s report listed Delhi as the 11th most polluted city in the world.
For its report, WHO studied levels of small and fine particulate matter (PM10 and PM2.5) during a five-year period between 2008-13. PM10 and PM2.5. These include pollutants such as sulphate, nitrates, and black carbon which penetrate deep into the lungs and into the cardiovascular system, posing the greatest risks to human health.

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