Delhi’s air pollution levels exceed the limits prescribed by the World Health Organisation (WHO), the government said in the Rajya Sabha on Thursday.
“The air quality monitoring data for Delhi provided by the Central Pollution Control Board indicates that the levels of particulate matter (PM2.5) exceed the WHO guidelines by a "factor of 7 to 12", environment minister Prakash Javadekar said.
WHO published Air Quality Guidelines for Europe in 1987 and 2000, and had brought out a global update 10 years ago.
India took into account the norms while revisiting and notifying the National Ambient Air Quality Standards (NAAQS), comprising 12 pollutants.
“The data of air quality monitored by the Greenpeace in five schools of Delhi are exceeding and are in similar range," he said.
While replying to questions, the minister also informed that the Delhi government had come out with a long term and short term measures last month so as to improve ambient air quality in the capital.
“The ministry of environment, forest and climate change has asked for a time targeted implementation plan by March 31, 2015," he added.
A comprehensive air quality index would soon be launched and monitoring stations will be set up on 66 cities having population of 10 lakh or more.
“The government has taken various measures to contain air pollution in the country, including supply of cleaner fuels, stringent source specific emission standards for air polluting industries and implementation of revised emission norms for gensets and cement plants,” he said.
Details were yet to be finalised though by the environment ministry on acceptance of the TSR Subramanian Committee recommendation for enactment of a new umbrella law 'Environment Laws (Management) Act.
The minister, however, made it clear that every recommendation of the committee may not be accepted by the government.