In view of complaints over Delhi pollution and deteriorating air quality monitoring, the Indian government has decided to increase these stations from the present 10 to more cities with 46 million population. Already, reports have highlighted the worsening air pollution in the capital compared to Beijing.
Minister of State for Environment, Forest and Climate Change Prakash Javadekar told Rajya Sabha in a written reply that the air quality data is currently available for Delhi, Mumbai, Chennai, Hyderabad, Bengaluru, Kanpur, Lucknow, Varanasi, Agra and Faridabad. These centres are connected to Air Quality Index (AQI) since April this year to provide information on air pollution levels, said the minister.
The AQI measures air quality in six parameters — good, satisfactory, moderately polluted, poor, very poor and severe with distinct colour, informed the Minister.
Eight pollutants have been taken as benchmark and each of these categories assess the possible impact on health, said the minister.
The worst affected of Delhi pollution are Delhi police personnel, especially traffic policemen who are testimony to chest and lungs ailments such as shortness of breath, wheezing, allergy, and cough and half of 160 policemen teted on Tuesday were found to have these symptoms.