Air pollution is a major global public health risk in cities across the world. It is one of the highestranking environmental health challenges in the world, especially in developing countries like India. Ahmedabad is one of India’s largest and fastest growing cities with a population nearly 7 million. According to the Central Pollution Control Board, Ahmedabad has some of the highest air pollution levels in India. The World Health Organization has also found that Ahmedabad ranks among the most polluted cities in the world.
In an effort to protect local communities from rising air pollution levels, the Ahmedabad Municipal Corporation (AMC) has developed two key tools: an air quality index (AQI), and this Air Information & Response (AIR) Plan. The Ahmedabad AQI is supported by technical expertise of the Indian Institute of Tropical Meteorology, Pune (IITM) and Indian Meteorological Department’s System of Air Quality and Weather Forecasting And Research (SAFAR) program. Air Quality Index (or AQI) systems operate in three leading cities in India, Delhi, Pune and Mumbai, and in many cities internationally. The Ahmedabad AIR Plan is a health-based program designed to protect and increase awareness among residents on air pollution. With the AQI as the center point, the Ahmedabad AIR Plan focuses on health risk communication with immediate and longer-term actions to increase preparedness, information-sharing, and response coordination to reduce the health impacts of air pollution on vulnerable populations.
The Ahmedabad AIR Plan is the first of its kind in India, and developed by the AMC with national and international experts and learning from global best practices on AQI health risk communication from Beijing, Los Angeles, Mexico City and New Delhi.