The newly revised air quality guidelines announced by the World Health Organisation (WHO) unveil new thresholds for key air pollutants and also give recommendations to improve air quality, so crucial for ensuring better health of the people.
The new norms by WHO has also triggered a debate on whether such strict guidelines are practically implementable. In comparison to the WHO’s air quality guidelines, India fares very badly as our threshold levels are higher by many times and all major metros in India suffer from poor air quality levels which are hazardous for the health of the people.
India has to strive hard to give a vigorous push on cleaning up its power, construction, infrastructure and transport sectors. The 2019 National Clean Air Programme aims to achieve a 30 to 30 per cent reduction in PM 2.5 concentrations by 2024. WHO rightly underlines the health-pollution link and it’s time that a wholesome approach is adopted by the government in ensuring clean air for the people to breathe.