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Issue 20
, 2009
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Centre should notify new air quality standards: CSE

Source: The Times of India, New Delhi, Date: , 2009

The Centre for Science and Environment (CSE) on Saturday today blamed the thick smog observed over the NCR region today to rising to polluted and urged the Centre to notify proposed new air quality standards at the earliest. Even as the government agencies maintained that smog was a routine phenomenon observed during the winter season, CSE felt its presence reflected that Delhi's air was increasingly becoming more polluted and unbreathable, bringing back the pre-CNG days. Based on its latest analysis of recent air quality data in Delhi, the environmental organisation said that in 2001, when the CNG programme was on, the annual average level of respirable suspended particulate matter (RSPM, or PM10) in residential areas stood at 149 microgram per cubic metre."After registering a drop in 2005, the level has shot up to 209 microgram per cubic metre in 2008. The concentration is, thus, around three times higher than the safe levels," it said. Eight-hourly maximum current level of carbon monoxide (CO) is touching 6,000 microgram per cubic metre -- way above the safe level of 2,000 microgram per cubic metre -- though the annual levels have registered a drop. "Way back in 2007 we had said Delhi would wake up every winter to more smog and pollution; more wheeze and asthma. Air pollution is on its way back up. It is high time our regulators sat up and set new nation-wide air quality targets," said Anumita Roychoudhury, head of CSE's Right to Clean Air campaign.