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Combating Air Pollution in India


FILE- A thick blanket of smoke is seen against the setting sun as young ragpickers search for reusable material at a garbage dump in New Delhi, India.

Combating air pollution in North India was the focus of a recent workshop in Lucknow, India, conducted by the U.S. Embassy.

Combating air pollution in North India was the focus of a recent workshop in Lucknow, India, conducted by the U.S. Embassy.

The program was part of a series of workshops held in New Delhi, Chandigarh, Jaipur, and Lucknow last month.The workshops are organized by the RTI International, in collaboration with the Indian Institute of Technology (IIT), Delhi, and support President Barack Obama and Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s commitment to disseminate information on air quality to city dwellers so that they can take action to reduce their exposure to harmful air pollution, and to enable policy makers to implement strategies that reduce air pollution in cities.

The objective of these workshops was to provide a forum to initiate and strengthen collaboration between U.S. and Indian air quality experts, consider best practices to combat air pollution in North India, and build consensus and strategy for follow-on action.

About a dozen U.S. policy-makers, world-renowned scientists, and industry-sector experts participated. The workshops included presentations on the health effects of air pollution, impact from industry and their mitigation efforts, and air quality management through policy.

Others focused mostly on group discussions and break-out sessions, and ended with a panel discussion aimed at developing a workable strategy for tackling air pollution in North India.

Jonathan Kessler, Director-North India Office, US Embassy New Delhi, opened the proceedings in Lucknow. He said, “In countries like the United States and India, action comes when people understand the level of pollution they are exposed to and the health effects that result. For someone who cares about air pollution, the past few years have been an exciting time in this country.”

The United States is proud to partner with India in promoting cleaner air for India, the South Asia region, and the world.

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