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Water pollution in India is far more deadly but the authorities are yet to acknowledge the magnitude of the crisis, former Union Environment Minister Jairam Ramesh on Tuesday said. Referring to the smog crisis in the national capital, Ramesh rued that the country wakes up to air pollution only when Delhi gets affected.
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He was speaking at the Indo-US workshop to explore bilateral research on air quality.
Ramesh said the intensity of environmental pollution, involving air, water and chemical contamination, was worse in densely-populated industrial areas like Dhanbad or Chembur in Mumbai than Delhi.
“But no body talks about it. There are a large number of industrial clusters that are witnessing a deadly cocktail of air, water and chemical contamination,” Ramesh said in his address.
Ramesh underscored the need for a “durable and enduring” solution on stubble burning in Punjab and Haryana, smoke from which has contributed towards shrouding Delhi in a thick cover of smog.
“There has to be a sense of balance when it comes to air and water pollution. Also, the health effects of pollution needs to be highlighted considering some still consider anti-pollution measures as anti-development,” Ramesh said.
Organisers of the workshop said it was aimed at identifying key areas of collaboration among US and Indian scientists to address research needs in air pollution exposure assessment and health research.