Recently some ground-breaking reports came into existence which can simply change the way we see pollution in our world. While China was for forever known as The most polluted country in the world, India (with Delhi as its prime face) has come out to snatch that title away.
India would soon be throned as the home to the most toxic air on the planet and the things that have led to the loss of 1.1 million lives every year. While China is trying its best to stabilised the air pollution related deaths in their country, India is just reaching that stage.
As per a report from the Health Effects Institute, Death in India related to air pollution have rushed up to 50 percent from 1990 to 2015. All of this is very alarming which needs instant attention.
Delhi can be identified as the one with the most deadly cities in terms of its air pollution index. In late 2016, after Diwali, Delhi was under constant smog and masks to prevent that deadly smog. While a huge part of the problem was pushed onto the crackers that people blew up on Diwali, the reality came out to be a bit different. The dangerously alarming smog level in the city was a result of all the remaining crops that were being burned by the farmers in the neighbouring states of Punjab and Haryana. However, knowing the root of the cause was not enough and people were trying their level best in order to save their lungs and themselves. A huge amount of money was being shed on high-quality masks to protect people, schools were shut down and what not.
Those days were not the end or the start of the problem. Delhi has been suffering from deadly air pollution for a long time now, for which the recent government in the state took some steps. The odd-even formula was one of that, but rather than saving the situation, the formula led to huge hue and cry among the public. There was a lack of public transportation, not proper consideration while laying out the rules and some alleged scams too which led to an eventual failing of the move.
Odd-Even as a formula was majorly implemented in relation to curbing all the air pollution from the transportation running on the road. However, the major issue behind the constant presence of smog and deadly air in the city is rapid industrialisation, population growth, rubbish fire both small and gigantic, and to some extent a certain lack of open spaces and trees in the city.
Delhi and NCR are under constant construction business which can be witnessed on every day of every month of every year. As per a rough prediction by the experts, somewhere around 70% of the buildings that will exist by 2030’s in India, are yet to be constructed. Which means that construction sites are here to stay for the next 15 years or so. And, this is the reason behind Delhi as a city being always dusty. The process of mixing concrete alone is said to contribute almost 10% of the coarse pollutants in the city’s air.
As per the founder of Urban Emissions, Sarath Guttikunda, issues like these are the major reason behind why our air quality standards are not set out to be as strict or high as the one in the U.S. Because of this, the annual standard for PM2.5 in India is 40 units, even though the World Health Organisation’s annual standard guideline is 10. Urban Emission is an air pollution research group.
Apart from making the buildings, there is a huge amount of construction waste that is left behind with which ultimately the people have to deal with. As per Delhi Pollution Control Committee, the current facilities in the city almost 1,000 tonnes of construction waste can be processed in a day, however, the city is already producing almost 3,600 tonnes and the amount is sure to rise in the upcoming months.
All of these issues are largely contributing to the big threat of air pollution and PM2.5 which ranks fifth among all the health risks, worldwide. There are many things that can be done in order to protect the people from dying by this deadly air pollution that a country like ours can institute.
With inputs from, Vice News and The Guardian.