While news reports talk of the menace of air pollution, including vehicular emission, risking the health of one and all, there is a class of men at work who are at a much higher risk.
The traffic police personnel are the ones who directly breathe in hazardous fumes while the governments have failed to provide them any health allowance and the National Human Rights Commission (NHRC) has now taken cognizance of the issue raised in a complaint filed before it.
The NHRC on Monday issued notices to the Union Home Secretary and chief secretaries of all states and union territories on the lack of health facilities to the traffic police personnel who are facing the brunt of air pollution day in and day out.
The complaint voiced concern over how the high air pollution is causing reduced life expectancy among traffic cops as the vehicular pollution affects their respiratory system. It also affects their reproductive system.
"Most of the state governments are not providing any extra allowances or health facilities to the traffic police personnel," the NHRC noted.
The commission sought "detailed response in the matter, within eight weeks, positively".
"In case, the response is not received within the stipulated time, the Commission shall be constrained to invoke coercive process u/s 13 of the Protection of Human Rights Act, 1993," a statement from the commission said.
It is to be noted that the Supreme Court had recently likened the pollution crisis in Delhi to emergency-like situation.
Also, it was only after the National Green Tribunal took up the issue that the traffic cops could be seen with masks.
The Supreme Court is also seized of the matter.