A high-level meeting has been organised on Tuesday in Delhi by Pune’s Chest Research Foundation along with the Union Ministry of Health where experts from USA’s Center for Disease Control, National Institute of Environment and Health will deliberate on long-term measures to tackle air pollution. Meanwhile, scientists and technologists with The Energy and Resources Institute (TERI) and University of California have listed a ten-point solution for air pollution mitigation.
At CRF, Director Dr Sundeep Salvi — who is also member of the steering committee under the Union Ministry of Health and Family Welfare (MoHFW) to strategise on key source-specific measures to reduce exposure to air pollution in India — said that a long-term solution will be worked upon. From Tuesday, a three-day meeting will be held in Delhi to deliberate on the long-term measures to deal with air pollution, Salvi said. Experts from IITs and Indian Institute of Tropical Meteorology, Pune will also be present.
Meanwhile, a task force of scientists and technologists at TERI, Delhi and University of California have listed ten key solutions towards air pollution mitigation. This task force that includes experts from Sri Ramachandra University, Indian Institute of Tropical Meteorology, Indian Institute of Technology, Delhi and Kanpur and several others have developed a set of ten scalable solutions to clean the air. There are opportunities for India to collaborate with California as it works to tackle similar pollution concerns. As such, a team of experts from India and California collaborated two years ago and produced twelve steps for reducing pollution from the transport sector, Sumit Sharma, Fellow at TERI told Newsline.
Launching a Clean Air Mission (CAM-INDIA) should have the mandate to implement the government policies for air pollution mitigation across several ministries dealing with transport, power, construction, agriculture, rural development, and environment, as well as across city and state jurisdictions is among the key solutions listed. To emphasise the point about the cross-sectoral coordination, the ammonia in ammonium sulphate comes from agriculture while the sulphates come from sulphur dioxide (SO2) emissions from the power and industrial sector.
The per cent contribution of each of these particles to PM2.5 or PM10 differs from one location to another, from month to month and at times from one village or city to the next and even, from one day to the next, implying that the science of monitoring, determination of emission inventories, and modeling is crucial to evaluate the efficacy of policies, experts have said.
Reducing air pollution emissions through end-of-pipe measures will not necessarily reduce greenhouse gas emissions. In this context, India’s ambitious target of 100GW power generation through solar by 2022 will contribute significantly to reducing particulate matter especially sulfates, fly ash, and nitrates.