According to a survey report by the WHO, 9 cities out of the list 10 most polluted cities in the world belong to India. Now that’s really saying something! Imagine, we have been breathing nothing but toxic and poisonous gas for quite some time now. Plus it doesn’t end there. Year on year, the issue just multiplies manifold leaving us with a bunch of new respiratory and cardiac ailments. Soot, dust, toxic gases, particulate matter… you name it,and we already have it in our system. So without mincing words, let’s just say, we are literally gasping in this epically tragic air quality we live in. Gone are the days when lung cancer and respiratory ailments were reserved only for active and passive smokers. Thanks to this never-ending saga of pollution, it is now free for all! There has been a drastic increase in the number of lung cancer patients and their age groups over the years. While the situation has started improving with an increase in awareness among people, some cities like Gaya and Kanpur have made new records of having the worst pollution levels in the world. But now, we have an action plan all set out by the government.  We now have a set target designed by the Government-aided National Clean Air Program for bringing down the national pollution level.

What does it Mean to Us?

This five-year program is expected to decrease the prevalent pollution levels by around 30% in 102 cities across India. If things go as planned, we are looking at a more breathable and pollution-ridden environment. However, the issue is that, while the strategies work, change in government, elections, bureaucratic setbacks, and delays in implementation will prove to be detrimental to the implementation. Another aspect of this is the fact that before initiating any action plan, the government has to look into its data collection systems and analyze its credibility. Since the already computing systems are not that great, this five-year plan is bound to have to pass some major hurdles before finally getting some action.

What the Plan Lacks

While the five-year plan sounds progressive and positive, what it lacks is a sector-wise setting of targets. After a decade of wait, we are only looking at a 30% reduction target. This may include vehicular and industrial emissions,but that’s not the only means of pollution prevalent in the society right? The funding is the other problem we have almost forgotten here. This program would require a massive amount of funding. According to an estimate, the government would need around $91million initially for the first two years. While we have spent more for a statue, the more critical issues like pollution control would like always take a back seat. So what is the solution? Do we just wait for the government to initiate and implement its plan? Not really. As a concerned citizen of the country, each one of us have a role to play in curbing pollution. How good would it be if you as an individual can share real-time pollution insights and data to the concerned department and team which focuses on the implementation of such policies? You can do that and more with our portable air quality monitors. Designed to fit into your purse, this small device can help gauge the air quality with precision and accuracy. This is data that can speed up our 5-year program right? To check out air quality data use Global Air Pollution. Do check this space for more on air pollution.