New Delhi: India's capital has become a gas chamber. The air quality index is always red throughout the year, people breathing poisonous gas and suffering from pulmonary problems, a leading scientist said today.
The situation is even worse for the marginal section of the society comprising among others auto-rickshaw drivers, rickshaw pullers,street vendors, who live on road to do business for their living and are thrown to open to the poisonous gas.
Speaking on the launch of breathe-free helpline Dr Sundeep Salvi, member of steering committee of Air Pollution of Ministry of Health and Family Welfare, said that those who do business on roads have the maximum exposure to polluted air and were at high risk.
He said one-day exposure to the air in the Capital is equal to smoking 25 cigarettes.
Government has maintained a silence on the distress of this marginal society.
Providing free pollution masks and installation of air purifiers equidistant from each other on the streets could be the immediate rescue which the government can provide to the marginal society as they neither have money nor resources to reach these products and are miserably left in the streets to die, Dr Salvi told UNI.
Migration from the neighbouring states for employment, changing life style and lack of efficient public transport has made the national capital one of the most polluted cities of the world.
Initiatives by the government like Odd-even plan, reducing Metro and Delhi Transport Corporation fares, online cab services and others have totally failed to curb the air pollution, experts feel.
National capital also has a disadvantage from its geographical location where the winds blowing from the north brings smoke from the crop burning while from the south- the dusty air of Thar desert, Dr Salvi informed.Fifty per cent of patients in Delhi who visit the doctor complain of respiratory disorders.
Studies conducted by health experts shows that pollution also leads to depression, asthma, obesity and is even harmful for the fetus resulting in retarded growth.
Air purifiers and face mask are among the several new anti-pollution preventive products and their sale has exponentially increased.
The sale of these products had increased to 50 per cent during the last three months and the price of mask varies from Rs 500 to 2000 while that of air purifiers starts from Rs 10,000.
Unfortunately no private organisation under the flagship of Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) has taken this task to provide free pollution mask to the needy, Dr Salvi told UNI.
Its high time that the government and private sector should think about the distressed on roads and provide alternatives to fight pollution and policies to regularise the use to personal vehicles and industrial pollution.
These ideas can't expand the universe but can provide better quality of air to breathe, the experts feel.