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Delhi ……Damn Polluted

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Despite the mandatory use of CNG for public transport in Delhi, the pollution levels in the city have spiked to such dangerous levels that doctors are now asking their patients to leave the city to save their health. Jamil, Juhi Garg and Meera Prasad don’t know that the killer dust in Delhi’s air, RSPM (respirable suspended partculate matter), began falling after CNG was introduced and then, seven years ago, took a treacherous U-turn for the worse.A two-part investigative report by the Indian Express newspaper, published on March 31 and April 1, has found that moving out of the city has become the final resort for doctors treating patients with severe respiratory problems.

Easier said than done, of course, but that advice betrays the sense of despair in the city’s health establishment over public policy failing to respond to a public health disaster in the making.The doctors also say in the report that the instances of lower respiratory illness have increased, indicating that the pollution is now affecting the lungs. They fear the rise in the pollution could lead to other grave health conditions such as  cerebrovascular problems, blood pressure levels and even cardiac events as it is linked to cardiovascular morbidity.