Clean air: Lungs Billboard that breathes installed in city

Ranchi: In a unique move to raise awareness on the health effects of air pollution and simultaneously seeking citizen’s cooperation in improving the air quality, Centre for Environment and Energy Development (CEED), Ranchi Municipal Corporation (RMC), Jharkhand State Pollution Control Board (JSPCB) and Ranchi Smart City Corporation Ltd (RSCCL) have jointly installed a breathing lungs billboard at Albert Ekka chowk on Tuesday.

The artificial billboard is designed in a way that depicts the human lungs, retrofitted with Hepa filters and a fan that mimics breathing, to visually demonstrate the impact of air pollution.

The giant billboard is also fitted with a digital air quality monitor that will record and display the real-time Air Quality Index. At the beginning of the installation the colour of the lungs is kept white (symbolising healthy lungs) which over a period of a few days will lead to changing colour from grey to brown to black signifying the level of bad air quality. The billboard campaign will continue for a few days as the main objective is to solicit conscious efforts from citizens and organisations for curbing the air pollution in the city.

Speaking on the occasion, Y.K. Das, member secretary, Jharkhand State Pollution Control Board said, “The State government has already prioritised reducing air pollution as an important public issue. For mitigating the health risks, the Board regularly issues health advisory and publicise air quality related data to create awareness among the masses. The lung’s billboard campaign will help in creating awareness among people and will prove to be an important step in garnering public participation to achieve the goal of clean air.”

JSPCB with other stakeholders is also preparing a Clean Air Action Plan for eight cities namely, Ranchi, Jamshedpur, Chaibasa, Hazaribagh, Ramgarh, Sahibganj, Dumka and Pakur, where CEED is playing the role of a technical partner. Asha Devi Gupta, councillor of ward 18 hailed the efforts to engage and educate common people about the effects of increasing air pollution in the city.

Councillor of ward 19 Roshani Xalxo also lauded the campaign and said that the citizen involvement is key to generate momentum such an important public cause and called for deploying solution oriented measures effectively.

Elaborating measures taken for a cleaner environment, Jyoti Kumar Singh, assistant municipal commissioner of Ranchi said, “We are committed to ensure clean air in the city and taking a pro-active approach in adopting innovative cleaner solutions to minimise the pollution load. This campaign is a timely initiative as we give prominence to citizens involvement in civic affairs and looking forward to get localised support to bring a sizeable impact on the ground.”

Ankita Jyoti, senior program officer at CEED said, “Air pollution is creating health crisis though a large section of people are still not aware how vehicular emissions, construction and road dust and gaseous pollutants affect our lungs. The aim of this campaign is to bring focus on the health impacts of air pollution and solicit people’s effort to minimise it. For bringing scientific discourse and ideas into the planning & implementation process, CEED is supporting key government bodies to raise awareness and increase active civic participation for achieving clean air in the state.”