While the BJP continues to oppose Delhi government’s radical step to tackle the rising air pollution in Delhi, the its government at the centre on Monday informed the parliament that poisonous air in the capital was killing 80 people every day.
In a written reply in the Rajya Sabha, the Union Environment Minister, Prakash Javdekar said that one of the biggest reasons was the ‘respirable particulate matter that leads to morbidity and premature deaths.’
Javdekar said, “An international study released recently has claimed that foul air is killing up to 80 people a day in Delhi. The number of premature deaths given in the study are based on constructive estimates and extrapolations of data.”
According to a PTI report, the findings are based on two studies commissioned by the Centre, ‘Epidemiological Study on Effects of Air Pollution on Human Health in Delhi’ during 2002-2005 and ‘Study on Ambient Air Quality, Respiratory Symptoms and Lung Function of Children in Delhi’ that was done between 2003-2005.
Javdekar added, “The studies indicate that several pulmonary and systemic immunity and damage to chromosomes and DNA and other health impairments are associated with cumulative exposure to high level of particulate pollution that increases the risk of various diseases including respiratory and cardiovascular diseases.”
This revelation comes amidst the controversy over the Delhi government’s step to introduce 13-point measures to curb the air pollution. Criticism from the opposition parties aside, most experts have hailed the idea of odd-even number plying on Delhi roads on alternate days.
The newly appointed chief justice of India, Justice TS Thakur, on Sunday supported Delhi Chief Minister, Arvind Kejriwal, adding that his judges were happy to pool-in a car to travel to office.
On Monday, senior Supreme Court lawyer, Harish Salve too threw his weight behind Kejriwal saying the capital had no choice but to ‘halve’ the number of cars from the city roads.
He said, “We don’t have a choice, half of Delhi’s cars have to go off the road.We will die in this gas chamber. We must encourage proactive action being taken by Delhi government.”