New Delhi, Dec 5: A glaring headlines in a national daily was seething through our conscience: 1 in 7 traffic policeman has lung problem. During a health check-up done to access the harm done by pollution in the national capital it was found that many policeman had respiration disorders.This brings us back to the same old debate which was pushed inside the carpet when a drizzle had settled th pollution and the next few days were sunny and bright.
Delhi has the right to breathe clean air but neither the Centre nor the Delhi government was "doing enough" to promote that right, senior Congress leader Shashi Tharoor said, as he launched a white paper on air pollution in the capital.
Tharoor, also a Lok Sabha member, cited the instance of the choking smog disrupting the third Test between Sri Lanka and India, saying it showed the severity of the pollution situation in the city.
"Delhi has the right to breathe (clean air). But, neither the Centre nor the Delhi government is doing enough right now to promote that right," he told reporters.
The "White Paper on Air Pollution in Delhi" has been prepared by the Delhi chapter of All India Professionals Congress (AIPC), which is headed by Tharoor.
Interacting with reporters at the Delhi Congress Office, the Thiruvananthapuram MP said ensuring breathing of clean air was a "fundamental responsibility" of any government.
"Besides, I, in my capacity as an MP, had called a round table on the subject of pollution earlier this year and after deliberations, had sent a letter to the environment minister to take concrete action or allocate budget for taking steps for addressing the issue," he said and alleged that "the government has not taken any action on it".
In the white paper, the AIPC has suggested steps that can be taken to combat air pollution, which includes strengthening of public transport like the DTC bus fleet, use of electric buses, reduction in stubble burning, promotion of solar power.
The AIPC is a political platform focused on the needs and aspirations of working professionals in the country, and to connect them to development process of the country.
Incidentally, the cover of the white paper carried an image from the India-Sri Lanka Test cricket match, showing the visiting team standing in the Feroz Shah Kotla Stadium, wearing masks.
Delhis air turned fouler today with a sharp rise in the level of particulates since morning.
The concentration of the most dominant pollutants, PM2.5 and PM10, reached levels as high as 276 and 455 micrograms per cubic metre by 3 pm, according to the Central Control Room for Air Quality Management of the Central Pollution Control Board.
News24Bureau with Agencies