17:12 GMT +320 October 2019
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    Smog envelops buildings on the outskirts of the Indian capital New Delhi

    India Vows to Reduce Air Pollution in World’s Worst Polluted City

    © AFP 2019 / ROBERTO SCHMIDT
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    Indian Minister of Environment, Forests and Climate Change Prakash Javadekar said that the Indian government will announce this week the first nationwide “composite, comprehensive” air index since the country has lacked a systematic collection of pollution data.

    MOSCOW (Sputnik) — India pledged to reduce air pollution in New Delhi, the worst polluted city in the world, Indian Minister of Environment, Forests and Climate Change Prakash Javadekar said Sunday.

    “Clean air is a birth right. We are giving high priority to this. It has not been handled correctly over the last 10 years,” Prakash Javadekar was quoted as saying by The Guardian.

    According to Javadekar, the Indian government will announce this week the first nationwide “composite, comprehensive” air index since the country has lacked a systematic collection of pollution data.

    Javadekar’s announcement contradicted what he said in 2014 when he was elected an environment minister.

    “What cuts? That’s for more developed countries,” Javadekar said in response to the question if India would offer a plan to cut its greenhouse gas emissions at the UN Climate Change Conference to be held in November 2015, The New York Times reported.

    Javadekar also stressed in 2014 that his government’s first priority was to revive the nation’s economy, which would necessarily involve an increase in emissions through new coal-powered electricity and transportation.

    According to the survey released by the World Health Organization (WHO) in 2014, the Indian capital of New Delhi, is the most polluted city in the world, with an annual average of 153 micrograms per cubic meter, six times higher than the acceptable norm. The Indian authorities claimed to reject the findings of the WHO study.

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    air pollution, Prakash Javadekar, India
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