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Mexican Ambassador to India Melba Pria on Friday expressed concern over the rising levels of air pollution, in the wake of the toxic smog enshrouding the national capital region, and suggested ways to combat it.
Speaking to ANI, Pria said, "We (Mexico) changed all of our petrol. It has to be in much better quality. Every Vento in Mexico has a catalytic converter that was put in plants in India. No Vento here has a catalytic converter. Why do you allow that children are breathing this air?"
"We took out all heavy industries out of Mexico City and raised the standards for pollution creating industries. We gave them time, helped them with taxes, did all reforms that were needed but those industries were taken outside of every city in Mexico," she said.
Mexico's young and dynamic Ambassador to India draws special attention because she uses an autorickshaw as her official transport.
"I am affected like everybody else because all are breathing the same air. If you've to go out, you need to have purifier in your car. For someone like me, it's being grounded because I can't use my auto, my vehicle of choice," she added.
Pria, in one of her earlier interviews, had said that Mexico's measures to improve air quality were diverse and the city did not rely on one single programme to curb pollution and that India should also do the same.
Pollution in New Delhi has been hovering at alarming levels with air quality readings of tiny particulate matter PM 2.5 hitting over 796 on Friday, the most severe level on the government's scale. A reading of anything over 100 is considered unhealthy.
PM 2.5 is particulate matter about 30 times finer than a human hair. The particles can be inhaled deep into the lungs, causing heart attacks, strokes, lung cancer and respiratory diseases.
Doctors have suggested people to wear N90 masks whenever they go out, as exposure to air pollution can lead to cancer and heart disease.