Greenpeace Repot reveals heavy air pollution
As per the latest Greenpeace Report, Indian cities are far from being healthy. More than 90% of the cities analysed in the document had very high pollution levels.
Globally WHO (World Health Organisation) sets the standards for air pollution. These cities have not fared well on these, especially with respect to the particulate matter (PM 10 and PM 2.5).
Delhi tops the list highlighting that much needs to be done to control air pollution. Here, the concentration of PM 10 was found to be almost four times to that of prescribed by National Ambient Air Quality Standards (NAAQS) of the Central Pollution Control Board.
The state of Uttar Pradesh has not fared well either with cities like Ghaziabad, Allahabad and Bareilly follow just after Delhi. These are also the cities that have been on the watch for water pollution.
Faridabad in Haryana is the fifth most polluted city in the country whose air is not fit for human consumption.
South India has geography helping their cause and sea breezes have resulted in slightly lower air pollution levels than the ones found in North Indian cities.
But, the problem seems to be a “national problem” demanding concerted efforts from all quarters of the government, polluting industries and the public at large.
Global warming is a major concern in the whole world and the 2015 Paris Summit had talked about reducing the global temperatures to within 2 degrees Celsius of pre-industrial era. With these levels of pollution levels, the goal may seem evasive. The ambitious target of limiting it to within 1.5 degrees Celsius is even more difficult to achieve.
As a “Welfare State”, India has not only national obligations to its citizens. It also needs to honour its commitments made to the global community. Pollution, especially in air, affects other countries as well because winds carry polluted air from a country to its regional neighbours. Much like environmental mismanagement in Pakistan and Haryana affects Delhi’s ambient air, India’s mismanagement affects the Himalayas in Tibet.
In this regard, the Greenpeace report suggests increasing monitoring stations to get more realistic data about urban air pollution in the country. Also there needs to be pro-active government’s response in order to correctly apply the “pollution pays principle” over the polluting industries set up in India.
Finally, people need to realize that their individual contributions become large when cumulated at the national levels. Planting more trees, assuring vigilance over polluting activities being carried out in their locality and by switching to car pooling and public transport system would go a long way towards reducing air pollution.