While air pollution is known to be one of the aggravating factors for many respiratory ailments and cardiovascular disease, specific information on the number of deaths due to air pollution is not available. As informed by Central Pollution Control Board (CPCB), they have not conducted any study relating to mortality due to air pollution. However, CPCB had sponsored three epidemiological studies to assess the long term impact of air pollution on human health. The studies indicate several pulmonary and systemic changes, altered immunity and other health impairments associated with cumulative exposure to high level of particulate pollution that increases the risk of various diseases including respiratory and cardiovascular diseases. The results are indicative rather than conclusive. The studies assessed the morbidity aspects and not mortality aspects.
While ‘Health’ is a state subject, the Central Government supplements the efforts of the State Governments in providing healthcare facilities. Government of India is implementing National Health Mission (NHM) for prevention and control of various diseases. Under NHM, the State/UT Governments project their requirements in annual Programme Implementation Plan (PIP) for improvement of health infrastructure and for providing adequate medical facilities. Government of India also provides treatment for the patients through Central Government Hospitals/Institutions in different parts of the country such as All India Institute of Medical Sciences (AIIMS), Safdarjung Hospital, Dr. Ram Manohar Lohia Hospital, PGIMER Chandigarh, JIPMER Puducherry, new AIIMS etc. The Health Minister was replying to a question in the Lok Sabha here today.