The air pollution rate in Bengaluru had strikes in its peak, which is five times higher than last year. In more than 85% of monitoring locations the levels have exceeded standards. CSE exposure monitoring has given clinching evidence of alarming dose that an average person in Bangalore breathes on a daily basis in different parts of the city – 3 to 12 times higher than the ambient level recorded by official monitors.
Bangalore needs stringent measures including emissions standards to Euro VI, curbing dieselisation, scaling up of integrated public transport, car restraints and walking for clean air.
“Bengaluru, while having made some significant strides in meeting air quality challenges, faces newer challenges. It needs technology leapfrog, scaling up of public transport, integrated multi-modal transport options, car restraints and walking for clean air,” said Anumita Roy Chowdhury, Executive Director, CSE.
It may be noted that over the last two decade efforts have been made at local levels to assess the health impacts of air pollution. There is enough evidence to act urgently to reduce the public health risks to children, elderly, poor and all. India will have to take action now to reverse the trend of short-term effects as well as the long-term toxic effects. For toxic effects to surface there is a long latency period therefore exposure will have to be reduced today. Addressing air pollution and health risk has assumed greater importance after the release of the global burden of disease that has ranked air pollution as the fifth largest killer in India. Studies in Bengaluru show health impacts of air pollution, especially on children. Stunning evidences are available on health impacts on traffic policemen who are directly exposed to traffic pollution in these cities.