Patnaites Talk About Alarming Air Pollution Levels in the City

Survey shows 9 Out of 10 people do not mind higher taxes levied if government takes strict actions to curb pollution levels.

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A recent survey on air pollution in Patna conducted by CEED reveals that 93% of the respondents are aware of the alarming levels of air pollution in the city. A majority of the respondents in the poll also suggested that they are willing to bear higher taxes levied on them provided the Government takes strict actions to combat the menace of air pollution in the city.

A report of the survey was released by CEED in Patna today. The opinion poll on air pollution was conducted amidst Patna Urban Agglomeration Area residents during the month of November 2016 by our volunteer group, Planet Paltan. The purpose of the survey was to analyse the current perceptions of air quality in the city and citizens’ willingness to engage in specific air quality protection activities.

9 out of 10 people surveyed identified some form of impact because of air pollution where a very high level of worry for breathing difficulty is expressed by 48% of respondents, while others are concerned for irritation of eyes/nose/throat, poor visibility, asthma incidence, skin problems etc. Almost half of the respondents are more likely to say that local air quality is “Worse” as compared to last year and believe this as a compelling reason to implement strict rules to reduce air pollution. Another key finding is massive support across various section of society for an effective and sustainable public transport system with 49 % people responding in favour of it.

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Mr Ramapati Kumar, CEO of CEED elucidated that “the opinion poll strongly suggests that the people of Patna are not only demanding Government’s action against air pollution but are also willing to take responsibility in curbing this menace. The Bihar government must work on war footing basis to completely eliminate the problem of air pollution. To achieve such a feat, CEED suggests to formulate a policy that includes a provision to adopt emergency measures where vulnerable communities receive constant alerts and updates about the area’s air quality.” Kumar further added that the policy must also aim at efficient transport system, delinking diesel, reducing industrial emission with special focus on clean bricks manufacturing methods, strict banning of open waste burning, encouraging clean cooking methods, and controlling dust pollution by increasing the green cover.

While elaborating on the survey’s findings, Ankita Jyoti, Programme Manager of CEED said that “opinion poll results vindicate our stand that rising air pollution due to emission from vehicles, diesel generator and construction sites are impacting lives of common people causing massive public health risk.” Bihar needs to take leadership in combating air pollution by formulating an aggressive action plan for clean air including measures to control particulate matter emission from point sources and boost sustainable development of the city.

The results of the survey strongly suggests citizen’s demand from the government to issue a health advisory in order to improve public health. 89% are of the opinion that issuance of advisory is critical for health reasons and must be updated on a regular basis.

Shashi Verma, one of the respondents during the survey shares her concern for the children in the city. Mrs. Verma adds that “as a mother of two, I am extremely worried for the health of our children due to the poor air quality. More and more children are growing susceptible to respiratory problems, allergic diseases and poor visibility.”

Check out more information on the survey findings.