Expressing his reservations on global reports linking deaths to air pollution, Environment Minister Anil Dave on Tuesday said a study will soon be conducted by Health Ministry on the issue.

The Union minister, while iterating his views on various reports linking deaths to air pollution, asserted that a proud nation always believes in its own data.

Noting that such reports are often based on extrapolation "without" due scientific validation, Dave sought to shift the onus to state governments and local bodies, saying tackling air pollution was no "rocket science" and the states and bodies have to play a "decisive" role as the Centre can only work like a "philosopher and guide" to them.

"For sometime now, various reports have come on air quality. There is a speciality in India. We are less influenced by things which are Indian and are influenced by those things coming from outside. There are many serious institutions in India, NGOs, government organisations which do research on this issue.

"And proud country always trusts in its own data and takes action on that. (Tackling) air quality is not a rocket science. What state governments and local bodies have to do, they have been told a number of times. They just have to work on four or five points," Dave told reporters here.

The remarks come after a recent study, 'State of Global Air 2017', stated that surpassing China, India now accounts for the maximum number of premature deaths from air pollution in the world.

The Lancet, a UK medical journal in its recent study had also said that the air Indians breathe is turning more toxic by the day and an average of two deaths take place daily due to air pollution.

In a federal structure like this, the Environment Ministry regularly asks state governments and local bodies to take appropriate measures, he said.

"Whatever report comes, we need to trust data from India. We believe in our institutions," he said adding, "I am that much certain (on Indian institutes) as much as the country is certain on the Indian army," he said.

Dave said that Chittaranjan National Cancer Institute had earlier conducted a study which concluded that air pollution aggravates certain diseases but this is not the only reason behind diseases or mortality.

"A study is being done by the Indian Health Ministry and its report is awaited. As soon as it comes we will provide it to you. Neither we are saying those (global) studies are correct or they are incorrect.

"We are also not saying that we do not take note of those studies. We only want to say that only to take those studies as certificates, we need to give it more thought," he said.

The Environment Ministry said that the (global) reports are often based on extrapolations without due scientific validation and there is a need for caution before arriving at a conclusion.

It is working with the Health Ministry to assess the trends and impact in this regard, a release said.

Source: February 21, 2017, The Times of India