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  Metros   Delhi  23 Nov 2017  Air purifiers can’t save us from pollution, says Sunita Narain

Air purifiers can’t save us from pollution, says Sunita Narain

Published : Nov 23, 2017, 6:18 am IST
Updated : Nov 23, 2017, 6:35 am IST

NGT directs govt to come up with solutions to stop stubble burning.

Sunita Narain
 Sunita Narain

New Delhi: As sale of air purifiers in Delhi have shot up in recent times, especially in the national capital, due to severe levels of air pollution and the toxic smog that had shrouded the city for seven days in early November, environmentalist Sunita Narain said that purifiers cannot “save us” from the ill-effects of pollution.

“Air pollution is a great equaliser. We can put air purifiers at home but that cannot save us. After all, air is common,” she said. She was speaking at the launch of her book Conflicts of Interest on Tuesday. Ms Narain, a member of the Supreme Court-appointed pollution watchdog EPCA, said that people have abdicated their responsibilities in reacting against pollution and that cleaning up Delhi’s air would require energy and mobility transformations, where people would adopt cleaner fuels and embrace public transport.

She said her roadmap to clean Delhi’s air would involve a switch to cleaner fuels, and doing things on large scale such as the conversion of buses and autos to CNG in the early 2000s.

Ms Narain, who heads the Centre for Science and Environment (CSE), said institutions, supposed to act as environmental safeguards, have been weakened.

She said the insistence on the part of many business houses to keep using sulphur-heavy fuels such as pet coke and furnace oil has worsen the situation. “We need a mobility transformation by keeping people off cars. We need to get more buses, metro, cycle lanes, pedestrian-friendly pathways,” she said.

Speaking on the book, she said it is an environmentalist’s personal account of her battles against India’s environmental challenges — from air pollution to colas; from tigers to climate change.

The book “takes you on a journey through India’s Green Movement as witnessed by Narain; while charting out the course the country must take if it is to deal with, and in face of exigencies such as climate change and environmental degradation,” a statement by CSE said.

Meanwhile, the National Green Tribunal on Wednesday directed the Centre and the governments of five northern states to come up with definitive workable solutions to stop stubble burning, including using crop residue in power plants.

A bench headed by NGT Chairperson Justice Swatanter Kumar asked the Delhi, Haryana, Punjab, Rajasthan and Uttar Pradesh governments to convene a meeting on November 28 to work out a clear mechanism on transportation and use of stubble as fuel in power plants.

Tags: air purifiers, sunita narain
Location: India, Delhi, New Delhi