Air in Indian cities unbreathable: Report

47 million children worst affected, said the Greenpeace report

GN Bureau | February 6, 2018


#Smog   #Air Pollution   #Delhi Pollution   #Greenpeace  
Representational photo by Arun Kumar
Representational photo by Arun Kumar

The air quality in Indian cities is poor and children are worst affected in states such as Uttar Pradesh, Rajasthan, Bihar, Maharashtra and Delhi, said a Greenpeace report.

Airpocalypse-II, a Greenpeace India report, analyses PM10 annual average recorded for 280 cities which have 630 million, or 53% citizens of the country’s total population. A massive part of the population, 580 million (47%) of the population are living in areas where no air quality data is available.

Out of 630 million close to 550 million people live in areas exceeding national standards for PM10, including 180 million living in areas where air pollution levels are more than twice the stipulated limit of 60g/m3which has been set by Central Pollution Control Board.

The report highlights that as many as 47 million children under the age of five years are residing in areas where PM10 levels exceeded CPCB annual limits, including 17 million children under the age of five who are in the areas where pollution levels are more than twice the limits. Children are worst affected in states such as Uttar Pradesh, Rajasthan, Bihar, Maharashtra and Delhi respectively. Together these states are home to 12.9 million children [five years and below] trapped in bad air exceeding by more than twice the annual standard. 

Sunil Dahiya, senior campaigner, Greenpeace India said:  “Only 16% of the population inhabiting the districts have real time air quality data available portrays how in-humanly we are responding to the national health crises in front of us. Even the manual data collected for 300 cities/towns across the country is not shared in a timely manner and in a format which can be accessed and understood easily by general public.”

Ranking of cities based on annual average of PM10 levels reveals- Delhi as the worst polluted city with 290 μg/m3 followed by Faridabad, Bhiwadi, Patna with annual average ranging from 272 μg/m3, 262 μg/m3 & 261 μg/m3 respectively. Surprisingly, Dehradun in Uttarakhand, once thought to be a salubrious preserve of retiring elite, also made it to the top 10 list of worst polluted cities with 238 μg/m3 annual average of PM10. The annual average of PM10 levels for the top 20 most polluted cities are between 290 μg/m3 and 195 μg/m3,for the year 2016.

Dahiya added: “Delhi remained the worst impacted city with annual PM10 levels exceeding approximately 5 times the national ambient air quality standards. The fact that less than 20% Indian cities are complying with the national, or CPCB, standards sadly points to the lack of workable, robust and timely action plans so far.”

 The report adds that most polluted cities are spread across the Indo-Gangetic basin with southern cities being slightly better off than their northern counterparts. However, cities in south also need focused and time bound action plan to bring air quality to achieve the WHO standards showing a pathway for other cities across India.

The National Clean Air Programme recently announced by the ministry of environment, forest and climate change firstly needs to be comprehensive, systematic and time bound plans with fixed accountabilities and secondly it needs to be made public soon for it to come into action, which will also help in having active participation of the general public and all layers of the government to take the idea to the ground level along with tackling myriad sources of pollution daunting the quality of air through vast parts of the country, said a Greenpeace India press note.

 

Comments

 

Other News

Charming tales of the Snakeman’s early years

Snakes, Drugs and Rock ’N’ Roll: My Early Years By Romulus Whitaker with Janaki Lenin HarperCollins, 400 pages, Rs 699

Gripping graphic narrative helps make sense of pandemics past

The Moral Contagion By Julia Hauser and Sarnath Banerjee HarperCollins, 140 pages, Rs 699 The world has lar

“Globally, there is unprecedented positivity for India”

Addressing the Viksit Bharat Viksit Uttar Pradesh program in Lucknow on Monday, prime minister Narendra Modi launched 14,000 projects across the state, worth more than Rs 10 lakh crore at the fourth groundbreaking ceremony of UP Global Investors Summit held in February 2023. The projects relate to sectors

World’s biggest bird-a-thon begins in India

During the four days from Feb 16, more than a thousand birdwatchers throughout India are coming together with the goal of documenting as many birds as possible across the country’s diverse locations. Over one lakh birdwatchers globally participate in the annual Great Backyard Bird Coun

Comments sought on Draft Guidelines for Prevention of Misleading Advt in Coaching Sector

The Central Consumer Protection Authority has sought public comments on the ‘Draft Guidelines for Prevention of Misleading Advertisement in Coaching Sector’. The draft guidelines are placed on the website of the Department of Consumer Affairs and are accessible through the link:

Electoral bond scheme unconstitutional: Supreme Court

In a landmark judgment, the Supreme Court of India has held the anonymous, unregulated and unlimited funding through electoral bonds and companies as unconstitutional. The five-judge Constitution Bench of the Supreme Court comprising chief justice DY Chandrachud and justices Sanjiv Khanna, B

Visionary Talk: Amitabh Gupta, Pune Police Commissioner with Kailashnath Adhikari, MD, Governance Now


Archives

Current Issue

Opinion

Facebook Twitter Google Plus Linkedin Subscribe Newsletter

Twitter