The centre government has played down the findings of the 'State of Global Air 2017' that claimed India registered maximum number of premature deaths from air pollution in the world.
Expressing concern over the report, the government on Friday said that though the menace was a serious issue, air pollution was not the only reason that led to so many deaths.
Environment Minister Anil Madhav Dave said that India does not work on reports from ‘outside’ and trusts its own reports.
"We do not work on reports from outside. India trusts its own reports. We decide based on our own reports. Pollution is a subject and (people) are affected due to it. We will stress on research done by Indian institutions," Dave said when asked about the recent reports.
Asked if the reports were not correct, he said, "I am notsaying that. People can make reports."
Asked whether he thinks pollution is a cause for death, Dave said, "No that is not the (only) reason. There can be various other reasons."
Science and Technology Minister Harsh Vardhan said that pollution destroys lungs of children and can also be a ‘killer’ as he asserted that any report coming from bodies like the World Health Organization (WHO) should be taken ‘seriously’.
"Pollution starts destroying your lungs. It starts affecting the lungs of young children, the kids, the infants, when their lungs have not developed that immune system or the capacity to fight it out, and many times, it can be a killer also. A lot has been done and is being done and is being planned, thought of and implemented. But there is still a need for a lot more to be done. Anything which is being published by the WHO, as a person who has worked with the WHO for many years, I feel that it should be taken seriously by everyone
all across the world," he said.
Earlier this week, a recent study, 'State of Global Air 2017', stated that surpassing China, India now accounts for the maximum number of premature deaths from air pollution in the world.
It also noted that both India and China together accounted for 52 per cent of the total global deaths attributable to PM2.5 and recorded some 1.1 million early deaths each due to it in 2015.
The World Health Organization (WHO) had earlier said that air pollution is killing nearly eight lakh people annually in the South East Asian Region with India alone accounting for over 75 per cent of the casualties caused by cardiovascular diseases and lung cancer.