Another Diwali, and some more hand-wringing about air quality. But it’s still not an issue that is on top of political agendas, says Siddharth Singh, author of The Great Smog of India. The energy policy expert tells Sunday Times why we need to press the panic button, and make clean air a part of the Swachh Bharat mission.
This Diwali we saw the strange sight of people wearing masks and bursting crackers in Delhi. What does this say about our awareness of air pollution and its effects on health? At the peak of the 2017 smog season, a senior official had stated that we should not panic as there is no public health emergency. It seems like people have taken this message to heart.
It is a fact that there is very low awareness among people. In general, very few understand the impact that the smog can have on not just the lungs, but also the heart and the brain. Apart from lung related and cardiovascular problems, studies show that air pollution can even impact cognitive functions among humans. Air pollution kills over a million Indians every year. It is for this reason that in my book I have a simple message to the people: do panic Read more
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