South Bengal State Transport Corporation, the state-owned passenger transport major, finally has terminated the controversial agency’s contract, accused of siphoning Rs 7.19cr from its e-ticketing system since 2014.
The Cardiological Society of India held a seminar in the city last week on the effect of pollution on heart health after recent studies revealed that air pollution and extreme weather conditions are fueling an alarming surge in heart attacks. The seminar was held on World Heart Day. It has been noticed that long-term exposure to air pollution, particularly particulate matter (PM) 2.5, has been linked with an increased risk of heart attack and other cardiovascular diseases. India is home to poor air quality, and 38 per cent of the disease burden from air pollution in India is from heart disease and diabetes.
Household air pollution has emerged as a leading factor that contributes to cardiovascular diseases in middle- and lower-income countries like India. Research indicates that air pollution is responsible for 12 per cent of all CVDs. The decline in air quality has doubled the incidence of respiratory and heart-related diseases among children, the elderly, and pregnant women.
This year, Kolkata has been enlisted among the 25 most populated cities in the world, and research indicates a 6 per cent increased risk of heart attack and a 7 per cent increased risk of death from heart disease in adults exposed to air pollution at moderate concentrations of 10.0 to 11.9 micrograms per cubic metre compared to low concentrations of less than 8.0 micrograms per cubic metre. Dr Debabrata, general secretary, Cardiological Society of India, said, “This year’s slogan for World Heart Day is ‘Use Heart, Know Heart’.”
He said CSI will launch a virtual platform to encourage doctors and their patients to take Heart Healthy pledges to turn their hearts from red (at risk) to green. This campaign aims to reach 3,000 doctors plus their patients across the country.” Dr Swati (Nandi) Chakrabarty said, “When you breathe in poor-quality air, the air pollutants can travel deep into your bloodstream through your lungs and to your heart.
This can increase your risk of heart and circulatory diseases.” The doctors advised regular heart checkups and urged people to go for green transportation, consume organic food, and reduce stress with nature walks. “By safeguarding the environment, we safeguard our hearts too,” he said.