Partneship for Clean Indoor Air looking for Indian partners

By Vibha Varshney
Published: Tuesday 15 May 2007

-- (Credit: SAMARAT MUKHERJEE)partnership for Clean Indoor Air (pcia) is inviting partners in India to help implement measures to reduce indoor air pollution. This will help almost 90 per cent of India's biomass-based fuel users who suffer from health hazards. About 400,000 premature deaths occur annually in the country due to this.

pcia, formed at the World Summit on Sustainable Development in 2002, conducted a meeting to resolve the issue in Bangalore followed by discussions in Delhi on March 26.

pcia hopes to introduce clean fuels and more energy-efficient stoves. Anuradha Bhavnani of Shell Foundation, India, says: "People can use the available fuel in a sustainable manner if cleaner cooking stoves are provided to them." But R K Pachauri, director, teri, says improved cooking stoves will not solve the problem of availability of biomass-based fuels. "There is a decrease in the quality of fuel, which has increased air pollution," says Pachauri. Clean technology has not been successful in India. A programme on 'Improved Chulha' started in 1985, but had to be shelved despite the country spending Rs 150 crore on it.

Clean fuel is a solution. "We need commercial markets for clean fuels like liquefied petroleum gas (lpg)," says John Mitchell of us Environmental Protection Agency--coordinating the partnership. But high costs and lack of availability of lpg may render the solution inaccessible.

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