BENGALURU: ‘Healthy Air Coalition Bengaluru’, was launched on April 6, 2019, to keep a check on the air quality in Bengaluru. It is a platform led by experts and individuals from the health sector, along with environmentalists, affected individuals, and concerned citizens.
40 air quality monitoring devices will be installed at 15 locations across the city, including the Bruhat Bengaluru Mahanagara Palike (BBMP) head office and public healthcare and maternity centers operational under the BBMP.
D Randeep, Special Commissioner (Solid Waste Management), BBMP said, “Bengaluru is the first major Indian city to join the global ‘BreatheLife’ campaign, a collaboration with the World Health Organisation (WHO). Access to data is the key to understanding air quality, and the availability of data on a centralised platform open to the public is the need of the hour. We are keen to understand the necessary interventions possible at the local level for improving the health of the public.”
Aishwarya Sudhir, air quality programme lead, Health and Environment Alliance (HEAL), which coordinates the coalition in collaboration with St. John’s Research Institute, said that air pollution planning and mitigation in the country has been largely limited to improving monitoring and data collection with very little emphasis on the associated health impacts. “For the data to translate into action, the health sector needs to step in as an important stakeholder in addressing the issue of air pollution, and we believe that through this initiative we will be able to prioritise public health and place it at the centre of air quality planning and mitigation in the city,” she said.