Pollution in Delhi, Ahmedabad, Varanasi, Patna, Agra and Kanpur exceed the toxic levels in Beijing
GN Bureau | May 12, 2016
The South Asian region has shown an increase of five percent in air pollution level in more than two-thirds of its cities.
Delhi has some reason to cheer after the release of the World Health Organisation’s (WHO) report on the urban air quality as its position in the pollution database has moved down from being the world’s most polluted city to 11th position.
After being ranked the worst city in 2014 for having high levels of Particulate Matter (PM) 2.5 i.e.153 micro grams per cubic metre, the level in Delhi has plummeted to 122 in the recent report.
But, what is worse is that cities like Gwalior, Allahabad, Patna and Raipur are now world’s 10 most polluted cities. Gwalior holds second position followed by Allahabad on the third place whereas Patna is on sixth and Raipur on seventh position.
The official data based on the years of measurements from 2010 to 2015 confirms that exposure to toxic particulate pollution PM 2.5 and PM 10 is alarmingly high in most Indian cities.
Even the National Air Quality Index (NAQI) data of 2015 shows that pollution level in Delhi, Ahmedabad, Varanasi, Patna, Agra and Kanpur, exceed the toxic levels in Beijing and other Chinese cities.
Delhi’s level over the eight months (April to November as per NAQI) of data were 12 times as high as the WHO annual guideline and three times as high as the national standard. Lucknow, Faridabad, Ahmedabad, Kanpur and Varanasi had average levels at least 10 times as high as the WHO annual guideline.
While Delhi garners the most attention, five other cities registered even higher levels in November, and all northern cities had average levels that would trigger a “red alert” in Beijing if they persisted for only four days. It included cities like Patna, Lucknow, Ahmedabad, Muzaffarpur and Faridabad.
“Pollution does not recognise political boundaries, with polluted air travelling across long distances,” says Sunil Dahiya, campaigner, Greenpeace India. “Air pollution is a national crisis, and demands a concerted national action plan in response.”
The continuing rise of fossil fuel consumption in India, along with several other factors, has contributed to an increase in air pollution levels. The significant increase in secondary particles such as SO2 and NOx in particular contributing to the overall pollution, Dahiya says, can be attributed to emissions from thermal power plants.
“We are glad to see that the government has taken some steps to reduce air pollution: such as the new emission standards prescribed for thermal power plants and introducing Bharat VI standards for vehicles. The critical thing now is to ensure that these are implemented as soon as possible to reduce the public health crisis due to air pollution coming from burning fossil fuels,” he says.
To read full report click here
In an interview with Governance Now, Anil Kumar Jha, special DGP, CID, Assam, who is also nodal officer for the CCTNS project, speaks of what the system in its present form has helped his state achieve. What is the current status of CCTNS in Assam and its outcome?
A stand-off between the ministry of home affairs (MHA) and software development firm Wipro seems to have long held up the Rs 2,000 crore crime and criminal tracking network and systems (CCTNS) project, conceptualised ten years ago. The project aims to digitise and connect all police stations in the country
Questioning the development model pushed ahead for profit oriented growth, social and political activists, academicians, financial analysts and civil society organisations are holding a three day confluence of Peoples’ Convention on Infrastructure Financing in Mumbai. &nb
About one-fourth of India’s elderly face abuse at the hands of those they trust the most – the son (52%) followed by the daughter in law (34%),spouse/partner (14%), daughter(6%) grandchild (6%), son in law(3%), parent(1%) and care giver(1%), reveals a report by the HelpAge Ind
The official statistics provided by the department of industrial policy and promotion (DIPP) under the ministry of commerce and industry shows that between January 2000 and December 2017, India received $368 billion of foreign direct investment (FDI). It also says that Mauritius was the source of $125 bill
The declaration communicated through the director general of military operations (DGMO) of Pakistan and India on May 29, 2018, to implement the ceasefire agreement of 2003 between the two countries in “letter and spirit” has opened up an opportunity to restore peace in the disturbed Kashm