The past entire week, the entire of Mumbai has been choking. Air quality has been the worst ever, afflicting so many people with sore throats, cough, cold, fever and a living nightmare for asthmatics. Yet, did we even hear one politician talk about changing this for Mumbai or even propose ways to improve the air quality? Strange, there was a very small report in the left hand corner of the inner pages saying that Mumbai air quality was worse than Delhi currently; yet when Delhi had poor air quality, the entire world knew and when Mumbai gasped, not a word in the mainstream, national news. It is because people in Delhi are less tolerant and those in Mumbai tolerate everything and anything, where life much just go on, irrespective of the deteriorating quality.
No Indian city passes the World Health Organization’s guideline value for PM10 pollution of less than 20 micrograms per cubic meter. And only 52 out of 280 cities pass Indian government’s own standards of air pollution that say PM10 shouldn’t exceed 60 micrograms per cubic meter.
There are today only 52 cities in India where quality of air will not kill – some amongst them – Nalgonda, Parwanoo, Tirupati, Shillong, Rayagada, Kothagudum, Coimbatore; maximum cities from Kerala figure in this list. Wanna move? Don’t bother because these too wont remain clean for too long.