Majority of the people in Patna are not aware of air pollution, according to a survey conducted by the Centre for Environment and Energy Development (CEED) the report of which was released on Saturday.
The report said that 80 per cent of the people are not aware of Patna’s Clean Air Action Plan, an initiative launched by the Bihar government in 2019.
Nearly 55 per cent are not satisfied with the steps taken by the respective departments and enforcement agencies to control air pollution in the city, it said.
The report indicated that 88 per cent of the people do not have an idea where to go and lodge any complaint on polluting sources or subsequent violations.
“The main objective of this public survey was to gauge the mood and perception of the people on air pollution and its impact on public health. This study also presents the overall awareness of the people on various initiatives taken by the state government to contain air pollution,” said Ankita Jyoti, Senior Programme Officer at CEED.
The survey was conducted in March and April this year in the Patna urban agglomeration area covering suburban and central regions with directly interviewing cross-section of people to get a representative view of the city.
The major findings clearly state that 96 per cent of the people do see air pollution as a major factor impacting their health, especially risks like asthma, respiratory diseases and breathing-related disorders.
The survey also pointed out that 80 per cent of the people are completely unaware about the government initiatives to contain the rising air pollution in the city.
Nearly 65 per cent of the people indicated that there must be a better and regular communication strategy on air quality-related information.
The results of the survey strongly favour the significant role of issuing health advisories because scientific evidences also suggest that air pollution is strongly linked to health risk.
Nearly 90 per cent of the respondents are of the view that regular health advisory is critical to reduce the exposure level especially during high pollution days.
“The state government needs to urgently constitute an integrated and responsive implementation task force at the district level which must work in a convergent and coordinated approach involving all key departments and enforcement agencies for controlling air pollution in true letter and spirit,” Jyoti said.
Ramapati Kumar, CEO of CEED, said, “Patna launched a Clean Air Action Plan in 2019. However, its effective implementation remains a big challenge. Our study indicates that even after two years, there is a lack of transparency and accountability among the departments and enforcement agencies for better implementation of the plan. The state government must put words into action to convert the grey sky into blue in Patna.”