Felt ashamed over Lankan cricketers wearing masks

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Mamta Banerjee on Delhi Pollution

“Ashamed” to see the Sri Lankan cricketers wearing pollution masks while playing in the national capital, West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee said that it is high time the Delhi government should take a call on the situation. “It’s not a good scene that the a visiting team is playing an international game wearing masks to avoid the air pollution and its worsening everyday. This is not earning a good name for our country. I think Delhi Government must take measures to control pollution.

Banerjee said she was speaking on it because the pollution in Delhi was a genuine issue. “I felt very ashamed otherwise I would not have responded to this news. This is not a political issue but a genuine issue,” the Chief Minister said. The Sri Lankan cricket team yesterday took to the field wearing anti-pollution masks while fielding on the third day of the Kotla Test against India, complaining of poor air quality that forced the hosts to declare their innings. Except the Sri Lankan team members, none other including the 20,000 odd spectators who came to see the match or the Indian Team had any problem with the air pollution.

According to Central Pollution Control Board (CPCB), Delhi’s air quality has been rated as ‘very poor’. The CPCB states: “Exposure to such air for a prolonged period can trigger respiratory illness. The most dominant pollutants are PM2.5 and PM10. These are ultrafine particulates, which can measure up to 30 times finer than the width of a human hair. The concentration of PM2.5 and PM10 were 223 and 383 micrograms per cubic metre at 1pm today afternoon. The corresponding 24-hour prescribed standards are 60 and 100.”