Opinion piece by Debajit Palit, Associate Director of India’s TERI (The Energy and Resources Institute).
“Particulate emission from cookstoves is killing rural women. It’s worse than the pollution in Delhi.”
“The year 2016 started in Delhi with the launch of the Odd-Even traffic policy with the aim of reducing air pollution. The issue has rightly received enormous attention from all stakeholders — environmentalists, judiciary, leaders of political parties , media and the aam aadmi — as it involves health of the 18 million people of the city.
While the critical levels of air pollution in Delhi have awakened us all, the Centre and different State governments are not doing enough to mitigate the more serious problem of particulate emission from the 150 million biomass cookstoves used in villages, affecting about 840 million people.
The gravity of the situation can be ascertained from the following fact: While 24-hour average concentration of PM2.5 (Fine particles that are 2.5 micrometers in diameter or smaller) in Delhi was between 180 and 289 µg/m3 as observed from SAFAR (System of Air Quality and Weather Forecasting And Research) data during the first eight days of this year, research studies undertaken by TERI and others indicate that average particulate emission from inefficient biomass cookstoves is more than 500 µg/m3, which is 20 times more than the WHO safe limit.” The Hindu – Business Line. Read the full column on delhiair.org.