A recent release from the Central Pollution Control Board, Parivesh, January 2003, presents deadly facts about air pollution levels in Indian cities. According to the report, Ahmedabad s air is the most noxious. Kanpur, Solapur and Lucknow follow closely,

India is facing a serious double burden of disease. Most of the old infectious diseases like malaria, filariasis and kala-azar have not yet disappeared; indeed they are bouncing back. At the same time, other chronic non-communicable diseases such as cancer, cardiovascular disease and respiratory disorders are becoming more dominant.

It is dangerous to breathe in most Indian cities, and even though the government accepts this, precious little is being done about it.

The great smog disasters of the past have made clear that air pollution can kill people in a matter of days: extremely high concentrations of air pollution building up under conditions of low wind speed and stable atmospheric conditions have been associated with excess deaths in the Meuse Valley, Belgium (1930); Donora, PA, United States (1948); and London, United Kingdom (1952).

With booming industries, Beijing finds it difficult to control SO2 and particulate matter. NO2 and toxic hydrocarbons add to its problems. After seven years of controls, SO2 and CO are down by