Question : Air Pollution

(a) the current policy for regulating air quality and reducing air pollution across the country;
(b) whether due to poor air quality and increasing pollution, the people are facing many health problems like respiratory disease, heart attack and cancer and if so, the details thereof indicating the total number of patients suffered from respiratory diseases due to air pollution during the last three years, State/UT-wise;
(c) whether as per the World Health Organisation lakhs of people lose their lives due to air pollution and if so, the total number of deaths due to air pollution during the last three years, State/UT-wise;
(d) whether the Government has enacted stringent laws to control air pollution levels and punish violators of the said rules and if so, the details thereof; and
(e) whether the Government proposes to provide any uniform pollution limit across the country as per the standards of the World Health Organisation, if so, the details thereof along with the other steps taken by the Government to control and minimize air pollution in the country?

Answer given by the minister


(a) The Government has notified the “National Ambient Air Quality Standards”to monitor the air quality across the country. Further,several steps are taken by the Government to combat air pollution which inter alia include, revision of emission standards for industrial sectors from time to time, setting up of monitoring network for assessment of ambient air quality, introduction of cleaner / alternate fuels like gaseous fuel (CNG, LPG etc.), launching of National Air Quality index, leapfrogging from BS-IV to BS-VI fuel standards, notification of Construction and Demolition Waste Management Rules, Notifications of 6 waste management rules covering solid waste, plastic waste, e-waste, bio-medical waste, C&D waste and hazardous wastes, banning of burning of biomass, 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, 1986 for controlling air pollution, installation of on-line continuous (24x7) monitoring devices by major industries, notification of Graded Response Action Plan (GRAP) for Delhi and NCR, Comprehensive Action Plan (CAP) for air pollution control in Delhi and NCR, formulation of National Clean Air Programme (NCAP), organization of clean air campaigns etc.

(b) & (c) The Central Pollution Control Board presently monitors ambient air quality in 793 locations covering 344 cities across the country under the National Air Quality Monitoring Programme (NAMP). Most of the cities have been found complying to the National Standards with respect to SO2 & NO2 levels. However, as per last five-year ambient air quality data (2014-2018), 122 cities were identified as the non-attainment cites, those having PM10>60 µg/m3.

There is no conclusive data available to establish a direct correlation of death/disease exclusively due to air pollution. Air pollution is one of the many factors affecting respiratory ailments and associated diseases. Health is impacted by a number of include food habits, occupational habits, socio-economic status, medical history, immunity, heredity, etc., of the individuals apart from the environment.

(d) CPCB and SPCBs are vested with powers under The Air (Prevention and Control of Pollution) Act and under the Environment (Protection) Act, , 1986 to issue directions for the closure, prohibition or regulation of any industry, operation or process; or stoppage or regulation of the supply of electricity or water or any other service, for protection of the environment Various directions have been issued by CPCB to SPCBs, PCCs and other concerned agencies for effective implementation of pollution related rules from time to time. CPCB issued direction under Section 5 of E (P) Act.

(e) The National Ambient Air Quality Standards were notified by the Government based on health based studies and geo-climatic condition of the countryto provide a uniform pollution limit across the country.


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