Key Messages

In line with strong emerging evidence on how air pollution affects human health, the World Health Organisation (WHO), in its latest guidelines, has recommended more stringent limits for all key air pollutants to protect populations worldwide. It also says that almost 80% of deaths related to PM₂.₅—the most hazardous pollutant for public health—could be prevented if the current air pollution levels were reduced to those proposed in the updated guidelines.

Though adhering to these WHO guidelines may not be feasible for a developing country like India, the government has been taking steps to combat the problem of air pollution. Recently, the Ministry of Environment, Forest and Climate Change (MoEFCC) launched a portal “PRANA” (Portal for Regulation of Air-pollution in Non-Attainment cities) under the National Clean Air Programme (NCAP), to provide real-time information on how specific cities are curbing their air pollution levels, as well as historical data on air pollution mitigation milestones achieved since 2018.

Customised Interventions Needed for Air-Pollution Mitigation in Non-Attainment Cities