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Govt says taking steps to prevent air pollution-related deaths

Business Standard, New Delhi, 28th November, 2014

Amid concerns over rising air pollution in the national capital, the Government today said it has taken various measures to prevent mortality arising out of such a situation.
Noting that air pollution mainly results in morbidity, "which in turn may lead to mortality", Environment Minister Prakash Javadekar said in the Rajya Sabha that focus of the government was on formulation of industry specific emission standards and promotion of cleaner technologies.
Javadekar said studies indicate that several pulmonary and systemic changes are associated with cumulative exposure to high level of particulate matter.
This increases the risk of various respiratory and cardiological diseases, he said quoting two studies sponsored by the Central Pollution Control Board (CPCB).
"These results are indicative rather than conclusive because health effects of air pollution are synergistic and additive which includes wide range of variation and also depends on various factors of a person like food habit, socio-economic status, medical history, immunity of the individual and heredity etc.
"Therefore, air pollution, mainly results in morbidity which in turn may lead to mortality," Javadekar said in a written reply.
The CPCB had sponsored two epidemiological studies in Delhi to Chittranjan National Cancer Institute, Kolkata to assess the long term impact of air pollution on human health.
The Minister's statement comes a day after the National Green Tribunal (NGT), dismayed at increasing air pollution in the national capital, held that all vehicles which were more than 15 years old would not be permitted to ply on the city roads.
A bench, headed by NGT chairperson Justice Swatanter Kumar, has also directed that wherever such vehicles of this age are noticed, the concerned authorities shall take appropriate steps in accordance with law including seizure of the vehicles.
Javadekar said the government has taken various measures to control air pollution in Delhi and other major cities including promotion of cleaner technologies and implementation of Bharat Stage-IV (BS-IV) emission norms.