New Delhi, Nov 15 (IANS) An exclusive survey conducted by CVoter has revealed many startling perceptions about air pollution that has become a serious issue in the country. Data from the survey indicates that Indians living in rural areas are more aware of and concerned with air pollution “in their locality”.
Nearly 39.6 per cent rural respondents believed that air quality has ‘deteriorated a lot’, compared to 30.6 per cent urban respondents. Factoring the responses of those saying the air quality has ‘deteriorated a little’ — in rural areas 65 per cent people shared a negative outlook compared to 62 per cent urban respondents. In fact 14.6 per cent rural respondents reported an improvement in the air quality compared to 17.6 per cent urban respondents. About 17.6 per cent respondents in total believed there was no change and the rest didn’t comment.
Conducted in the Hindi speaking belt of the country over 1,803 participants, the survey asked the respondent — how much do they think the air quality has changed around them — and they were given five options — ‘deteriorated lot’, ‘deteriorated a little’, ‘hasn’t changed’, ‘improved a little’ and ‘improved a lot’.
The survey also shows differing perceptions across income categories with the affluent more worried about air pollution. About 50 per cent of the respondents from the higher income level group said that the air quality around them had ‘deteriorated a lot’. This extremely negative opinion around air pollution was shared by 39.7 per cent respondents of the middle-income group and 30.4 per cent respondents of the low income group. Overall — nearly 64 per cent or every two-in-three Indians believe that the air quality in their locality has largely deteriorated in the last 10 years (net negative response).
For many years, air pollution has become a major issue and aided alarm bells over its harmful impact on health, particularly in northern India. According to IQAir, a global body that monitors air pollution across the world, 39 of the 50 most polluted cities in the world are in India. The Supreme Court is currently conducting hearings on an urgent basis to mull concrete and durable steps to curb air pollution.