The Minister of Environment, Forest and Climate Change Dr Harsh Vardhan has rejected the recent global reports claiming over one million deaths in India due to air pollution. He said that such studies are only aimed at causing panic.
In an interview to PTI, the BJP leader said that his government is working hard to tackle the problem of pollution and has been supporting the AAP-led Delhi government in this direction. “We are doing our best to handle air pollution. The number of (achhe din) good days is consistently going up and bad days coming down,” he said.
“Regarding the high-profile data of millions of deaths, I do not agree with that because pollution can cause premature illness and other things. Pollution does affect health but to create such a panicky situation and say millions of people are dying, I do not agree with that,” Vardhan said.
A report by environment NGO Greenpeace recently stated that Delhi topped the list of most polluted cities in the world. The US-based Health Effects Institute report revealed that around 1.2 million people were killed in India in 2017 due to air pollution.
The Union minister highlighted the initiatives taken by the Centre and said aggressive campaigns have been organised in the national capital to handle pollution.
“You must be already aware of our National Clean Air Program (NCAP) which we started pro-actively and aggressively to improve air quality in 102 cities, where we found that consistently for five years, the PM 10 levels were beyond the desirable levels. PM is particulate matter, and 10 is diameter measurement.
The Union Minister is contesting the Lok Sabha polls from Chandni Chowk constituency in the national capital.