NEW DELHI: A day after a study claimed that 1.1 million people died due to air pollution in India in 2015, the Union Health Minister today said his ministry was working in coordination with the Environment Ministry to address the issue.
Union Health Minister JP Nadda told reporters that his ministry was working on a programme and unless both the ministries worked together, the issue could not be addressed.
He was asked about the Environment Ministry’s earlier assertion that there was no conclusive data to suggest that the deaths were exclusively caused by air pollution.
“The answer is with the Environment Ministry. What we are trying to do is work in coordination with it,” said Nadda.
Asked if there was a plan, Nadda said, “We are working on it. Until we have coordination and work together, we will not be able to address this.”
The study claimed yesterday that India now accounted for the maximum number of premature deaths due to ozone air pollution in the world, surpassing China.
The number of lives lost in India due to PM 2.5 was “approaching” that of China’s, it claimed, noting that both the countries together accounted for 52 per cent of the total global deaths attributable to the tiny particulate matter and recorded some 1.1 million early deaths due to it each in 2015.
Recently, Environment Minister Anil Madhav Dave, in a written reply in Rajya Sabha, had said there was no conclusive data to establish that the deaths were caused exclusively by air pollution.
He had said that the effects of air pollution on health were synergistic manifestation of factors which included food habits, occupational habits, socio-economic status, medical history, immunity, heredity etc. Of individuals.
Greenpeace India had published a report titled ‘Airpocalypse’ in January in which it had claimed that 12 lakh deaths were reported annually in India due to air pollution. (AGENCIES)