A pedestrian covers his face with a handkerchief for protection against air pollution in New Delhi | Shahbaz Khan/PTI
A pedestrian covers his face with a handkerchief for protection against air pollution in New Delhi | Shahbaz Khan/PTI
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Nearly 57% respondents faced health issues because of bad air, shows a survey by Local Circles, a social networking site for civic cooperation.

New Delhi: About 35 per cent of residents are considering leaving the Delhi-NCR region for good as they have lost faith in the central and state governments’ ability to tackle the dismal air quality in the region, a survey has found.

Of the more than 12,000 ‘unique citizen’ respondents, 26 per cent said they would consider “equipping themselves with things like air purifier, masks, more plants etc”, the three-part survey, conducted by Local Circles — a social networking site for civic cooperation — shows.

Nearly 12 per cent feel that it is best to avoid the city during the winter months when the air quality index is at its worst. This year, air pollution peaked with PM 10 (particulate matter 10 micrometres or less in diameter) levels crossing 999 — the highest grade that can be recorded — in parts of the National Capital Region.

“The last 27 per cent said that they have no option to stay in the city and cope with the pollution,” the survey report says.

Delhi’s air quality continues to be dismal despite the government’s attempts to check entry of diesel-run heavy vehicles to the city and a ban of construction during day time. Even the Supreme Court’s partial ban on firecrackers on Diwali could provide little respite in the absence of any long term solution.


Also read: Delhi filed 2,438 pollution complaints in a week, most about construction dust & garbage


Pollution related problems

A majority of the respondents, nearly 57 per cent, have said they faced health issues because of bad air. None of them, however, have approached doctors for treatment.

Only 13 per cent said they had faced no problems, while 23 per cent claimed that they (or one of their family members) had already visited a doctor for the same.

Most of these people are struggling to buy air purifiers, which cost anywhere between Rs 10,000 and Rs 25,000. Even anti-pollution masks also come at a price that many people in NCR find it hard to afford.


Also read: As India chokes, sales of drugs, masks & air purifiers surge this festive season


“In the final poll, 56 per cent citizens said that they do not have a mask or an air purifier to protect them from pollution,” the survey report shows.

Only 21 per cent have both a mask and an air purifier, while 8 per cent have only a purifier and 15 per cent a mask, the report adds.

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