The centre is a landmark as it is to combine surveillance and data gathering with diagnosis and treatment and part of `corporate social responsibility' initiative in order to tackle the increasing levels of air pollution. It is the 17th such centre being supported by Gas Authority of India Limited The initiative will help the poorer section of societies by offering them both diagnostic and treatment facilities.
The centre was inaugurated by Mr.B.S. Negi, Director of GAIL. Alka Kumar, DGM (CSR) GAIL said the present centre has been set up under GAIL's `Blue Sky' project, which is looking to supply natural gas across the country.
The SRMC centre will be headed by Kalpana Balakrishnan and Chest Medicine led by Vijayalakshmi Thanasekaran.
Dr.K. Balakrishnan is the head of the Departments of Environmental Health Engineering and has done pioneering work in this field in the past few years.
Director from the Environmental Training Institute, Tamil Nadu Pollution Control Board, Mr. R. Mohan Naidu said that it was important for the data gathered; to be studied by scientists and for them to help the policymakers of the country to evolve strategies to curb air pollution.
The other dignitaries who spoke included Prof.T.K. Parthasarathy, Pro-chancellor and Prof.S.S.K. Marthandan, Vice-chancellor of SRMC.
The SRMC unit will join the network with other GAIL centers and compile a national database. This information will be useful in routine surveillance for air pollution related health diseases.