As the air Indians breathe is turning more toxic by the day, biotechnology entrepreneur Kiran Mazumdar-Shaw has called for a ban on open burning of all wastes. Vehicle emission and burning of toxic waste are the key factors fuelling air pollution, says Mazumdar-Shaw, Chairperson and Managing Director of biotechnology firm, Biocon. “We must promulgate strong policies that mandate vehicular emission and ban open burning of all wastes,” she told PTI. “Any burning must only be done in enclosed incinerators.”
Mazumdar-Shaw, who also serves as Indepenendent Member of the Board of Infosys Ltd, said all industrial emissions also must have scrubbers in the exhausts. “With growing urbanisation, planning must incorporate strong policies for waste management and traffic flow. Traffic gridlocks are some of the worst contributors to air pollution,” she added.
According to medical journal The Lancet, over a million Indians die every year due to air pollution. The smog over northern India is extracting a heavy toll, and every minute two lives are lost in India due to ambient air pollution, the study says.
Mazumdar-Shaw said air pollution is a serious hazard which has already taken its toll in Delhi and affecting many other cities, including Bengaluru. “We must listen to the alarm bells that are ringing especially when we have some of the most polluted cities in the world,” she said.