Delhi pollution is not only robbing us of the wealth of health but also real wealth in terms of damaging the economy as much as damaging our lungs. According to ASSOCHAM, the alarming post-Diwali pollution will have crippling effect on business sector in the entire National Capital region (NCR), like tourism, transport, automobile and real estate.
“While it may be difficult to hazard a figure of economic loss, since the exact period of dangerous levels of pollutants would depend on the weather conditions along with administrative measures, there is no doubt that several billions of dollars of fresh investment and GDP loss would occur,” Assocham secretary general D S Rawat said.
Besides, it would lead to a loss of confidence among the citizens, Rawat added. The industry chamber observed that in the immediate term, the tourism season could be the worst-hit with the Delhi and NCR pollution making global headlines and creating an impression that visitors should avoid these places.
A large number of foreign tourists visit the ‘Golden Triangle’ of Delhi-Agra-Jaipur (entire Rajasthan).
It said the feedback from tour operators and hoteliers clearly points out a deep concern over the negative impact that the pollution can cause to the economy.
“If urgent steps on emergency scale are not taken, the economic impact arising out of the health issues could be catastrophic for the NCR, one of the important pillars of the national economy. Besides, this is also a wake up call for other regions around Mumbai, Bengaluru, Hyderabad, Chennai and Kolkata,” Rawat said.
In its analyis, Assocham noted that there are already requests from global tour operators to re-align the itinerary of the international tourists to the ‘Golden Triangle’.
“Instead of the tourists dividing period of stay between Delhi, Agra and Rajasthan, there have been enquiries where the visitors can avoid Delhi, excepting the touch-down options at the Indira Gandhi International Airport in the national capital,” the chamber pointed out.