Toxic air might drive away highly-skilled expats from NCR

Expressing anxiety over the dangerously unhealthy air quality levels in the National Capital Region (NCR), apex industry body ASSOCHAM today urged the Centre and governments of Delhi, Haryana and Punjab to establish a clear strategy for aggressively tackling air pollution.
“Different ministries, departments as well as universities, research institutions and organisations alike must come together and also engage top-tier professionals to chart out a systematic, clear timetable and roadmap for tackling air pollution and curbing its causes thereby improving Delhi’s air quality,” said ASSOCHAM in a SOS message sent to the Union Ministry of Environment, Forest and Climate Change (MoEF&CC) along with government of Delhi, Haryana, Punjab and Uttar Pradesh.
“Delhi is facing an emergency situation but there is hardly any intention or commitment seen to address the problem as such innovative solutions like using mist cannons, creating a special force to check construction activities, vehicular pollution, rubbish burning and other factors is the need of the hour,” said ASSOCHAM secretary general, Mr D.S. Rawat.
“Increasing air pollution can take a toll on the urban economy by cutting short life span of people thereby increasing healthcare costs to the government, drive away top executives and talented people to other cities with better air quality thereby negatively affecting Delhi’s ability to attract highly-skilled expatriates, severely impact inflow of investments and hit sectors like tourism, hospitality, outdoor recreation and others,” said Mr Rawat.
“Promoting use of more efficient and less polluting energy sources, restricting growing number of vehicles and stringent enforcement of pollution laws will help in smooth transition to a more environment-friendly economy in the long-term,” he added.
The ASSOCHAM’s secretary general further said that cooperation across various fields is a must to achieve more targeted measures in reducing air pollution.

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