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QUESTION NO: 350 Toxic Air

GOVERNMENT OF INDIA

MINISTRY OF ENVIRONMENT, FORESTS AND CLIMATE CHANGE

LOK SABHA

STARRED QUESTION NO: 350

ANSWERED ON:  04.01.2019

Toxic Air

KAUSHALENDRA KUMAR

Will the Minister of ENVIRONMENT, FORESTS AND CLIMATE CHANGE be pleased to state:-

(a) Whether the Government is aware that increasing pollution and rapid industrialization are making the air in the country more toxic and if so, the details thereof along with the level of carbon dioxide concentration in metro cities of the country, city-wise;

(b) Whether around one lakh deaths occur every year due to breathing ailments and if so, the details thereof;

(c) Whether the Government has assessed the impact of increased air pollution on the health of the people in Indian cities and if so, the details thereof;

(d) Whether suggestions of the National Green Tribunal to reduce/control pollution have been followed/implemented properly in the country, if so, the details of cities adhering to environmental guidelines in this regard and if not, the reasons therefor; and

(e) the concrete measures being taken by the Government to deal with the harmful effects of pollution on human life, animals and environment and to ensure that the Indian cities do not go towards a health crisis due to increased pollution?

ANSWER

MINISTER FOR ENVIRONMENT, FOREST AND CLIMATE CHANGE

(DR. HARSH VARDHAN)

(a) to (e): A Statement is laid on the Table of the House.

Statement referred to in reply to Lok Sabha Starred Question No. 350 due for reply on 04.01.2019 regarding ‘Toxic Air’ By Shri K.N. Ramachandran and Shri Kaushalendra Kumar, Hon''ble Member of Lok Sabha

(a) There is no increasing trend with regard to air pollutants that reflects the air becoming more toxic in the country. Analysis of data revealed that SO2 levels were within the National Ambient Air Quality Standard (NAAQS) in all 43 cities during 2015-17. With respect to NO2, 14 cities showed an increasing trend, 14 cities showed a decreasing concentration, 14 cities showed a fluctuating trend and 1 city revealed steady concentration. With respect to PM10, 14 cities showed an increasing trend, 8 cities showed a decreasing concentration, 21 cities showed a fluctuating trend. With respect to PM2.5, trends are available for 15 cities and out of 15 cities, 05 cities showed an increasing trend, 04 cities showed a decreasing concentration, 06 cities showed a fluctuating trend.

Carbon dioxide, a greenhouse gas, is not monitored city-wise. As per India''s Second Biennial Update Report (BUR) to United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC), the net national Green House Gases emissions were around 2.306 billion tonnes of CO2 equivalent in 2014.

(b)&(c) There is no conclusive data available in the country to establish direct correlation of death/disease exclusively due to air pollution. However, air pollution is one of the triggering factors for respiratory ailments and associated diseases. Government has initiated National Environmental Health Profile study. It is aimed to make assessment of human health impact in consequence of exposure to outdoor air pollution exposures in 20 selected cities across the country. The study will cover 4 zones of the country i.e. North, South, East and Westand will be a collaborative effort of Central Pollution Control Board/ State Pollution Control Boards (SPCBs) and medical institutions.

(d) Hon’ble National Green Tribunal has passed orders and given suggestions with regard to prevention, control and mitigation of air pollution in Delhi and NCR from time to time. These Orders/suggestions are being complied with by the concerned agencies.

(e) The Government has taken various measures to control pollution which inter alia, include notification of Graded Response Action Plan for different levels of air pollution in Delhi and NCR; notification of National Ambient Air Quality Standards; setting up of monitoring network for assessment of ambient air quality; introduction of cleaner / alternate fuels like gaseous fuel (CNG, LPG etc.), ethanol blending; launching of National Air Quality index; universalization of BS-IV from 2017; leapfrogging from BS-IV to BS-VI fuel standards since 1st April, 2018 in National Capital Territory of Delhi and from 1st April, 2020 in the rest of the country; notification of Construction and Demolition Waste Management Rules; banning of burning of biomass; notifications regarding mandatory implementation of dust mitigation measures for construction and demolition activities; promotion of public transport network; streamlining the issuance of Pollution Under Control Certificate; issuance of directions under Section 18(1)(b) of Air (Prevention and Control of Pollution) Act, 1981 and under Section 5 of Environment (Protection) Act, etc.

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