Hyderabad: The US Consulate General in Hyderabad and Hyderabad Urban Lab organised a panel discussion on Air Quality in Hyderabad on Thursday at Lamakaan. Experts, activists, Urban geographers, students and young professionals participated in the programme. Members at the discussion stated that the problem of air pollution is as big as other environmental problems. Dr Sagar Dhara, founder of Cerana Foundation and member, at the panel discussion said, “The Pollution Control Board (PCB) should be wound up immediately if it cannot control pollution. The job should be handed over to local bodies like gram panchayat, municipal authorities and zilla parishads.”
Counsel General Katherine Hadda said, “With the booming economy in many cities since the turn of this Century, the number of vehicles and dusty construction sites have multiplied. According to World Health Organisation (WHO), India had the highest mortality rate due to air pollution with 159 deaths per 100,000 people.” She added that the government policies at the Central and state level play a big role. “Vehicles need to be maintained properly. Burning waste and rubbish leads to air pollution. To conserve environment, it is necessary not to cut trees but plant more. Use of public transport and carpooling, biking and walking helps to conserve resources,” she added.