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New Delhi: Public Health Foundation of India (PHFI) has said that ending unsustainable fuel subsidies is one of the major actions required to reduce ambient air pollution in the country.
PHFI released a paper on Friday which said that diesel exhaust is a major contributor to transport emissions, especially of particulate matter. “With 49% of all new cars in India running on diesel (the cost of which is subsidised by the government) this poses a major challenge that needs to be tackled,” it said.
The paper titled Ambient Air Pollution and Public Health: A Call to Action also said that it was important to update outdated emissions regulations and to gradually phase out diesel subsidies.
Some of the other actions that the paper recommends for reducing ambient air pollution include expanding real-time monitoring of ambient air quality in the country in both rural and urban areas to study the impact. The Central Pollution Control Board is implementing a programme to monitor level of various pollutants in 16 cities.
The World Health Organisation (WHO) on Tuesday said that around 7 million people died in 2012 globally as a result of air pollution exposure. This means that air pollution was responsible for one in eight of total global deaths. This finding confirmed that air pollution is now the world’s largest single environmental health risk.