Thursday, December 15, 2016

Air Pollution in Ahmedabad

In an effort to protect local communities from rising air pollution levels, the AMC is developing a health-based program for outreach around the AQI developed by the Indian Institute of Tropical Meteorology, Pune (IITM) and SAFAR (System of Air Quality and Weather Forecasting And Research). AQI systems already operate in key cities in India, including Delhi, Mumbai, Pune, and Mumbai, among others, as well as internationally. The Ahmedabad AQI is scheduled to be formally launched in early 2017.

To develop the program, the Ahmedabad Municipal Corporation Commissioner Shri Mukesh Kumar and Mayor Shri Gautam Shah joined by international public health and air pollution experts from the Indian Institute of Public Health-Gandhinagar (IIPH-G), Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC) and the Indian Institute of Tropical Meteorology, Pune (IITM) are holding a two day workshop on “Air Pollution & Health: Laying the Foundation for Effective Use of Ahmedabad’s Air Quality Index” this week.

NRDC and partners, IIPH-G, are working with the AMC on information, education, and communication strategies for the new AQI being launched in Ahmedabad. The combined efforts of government agencies, health professionals, and community leaders can serve to effectively inform the public about rising air pollution health risks in India, and how to take steps to protect community and individual health.

The new Ahmedabad program focuses on air quality alerts and advisories, interagency coordination, public awareness and community outreach, and assessing health impacts and monitoring to strengthen actions. The interagency coordination, alerts, and outreach are modeled on the effective Heat Action Plan by the city that has now scaled to 11 cities in 2016 and potentially leading states in the coming year.

The new program is also designed to integrate health and pollution control strategies with the Gujarat Pollution Control Board’s “City Clean Air Plan for Ahmedabad”. The GPCB includes a broader comprehensive strategy for emissions controls. The program will also incorporate knowledge exchange components with New Delhi and other cities. Ahmedabad is examining media strategies used in New Delhi on health risk communication and outreach to design its program.

Read the full article @ NRDC

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