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Environmental Pollution in India    (Page 1)

   Environmental Pollution
   Air Pollution
   River water Pollution
   Groundwater exploitation
   Plastic Pollution
   Municipal solid waste
   Pollution due to Mining
   Pollution due to biomedical waste
   Pollution due to e-Waste
   Noise pollution
   Light pollution
   Delhi's air is choking with pollutant PM 2.5
   Greenhouse Gas Emissions
   Pollution of Indian Seas
   Indian satellite to monitor green house emission
   Environmental Pollution and chronic diseases
   Carbon Farming
   Invasive alien species
   Pollution trading
   Poverty is the biggest polluter
   The most polluted places in India
   Emissions of gaseous pollutants: satellite data
   Is nuclear energy a solution of global warming?
   Pollution due to Distilleries
   Reduce pollutions: suggestions
   References



  Environmental Pollution

   Air pollution

  The environmental pollution affect the health of more than 120 million people worldwide. Pollution is the contaminant into a natural environment, usually by humans. The specific types of pollution are Land pollution, Air Pollution, Water pollution (Oceans, rivers, ground water) , Plastic pollution, Noise pollution, Light pollution, space Ozone layer and more. The World Health Organization (WHO) latest report shows that air pollution has caused the death of seven million people in 2012. 

  In India the increasing economic development and a rapidly growing population that has taken the country from 300 million people in 1947 to more than one billion people today is putting a strain on the environment, infrastructure, and the country’s natural resources. Industrial pollution, soil erosion, deforestation, rapid industrialization,  urbanization, and land degradation are all worsening problems. Overexploitation of the country's resources be it land or water and the industrialization process has resulted environmental  degradation of resources.  India's per capita carbon dioxide emissions were roughly 3,000 pounds (1,360 kilograms) in 2007, according to the study. That's small compared to China and the U.S., with 10,500 pounds (4,763 kilograms) and 42,500 pounds (19,278 kilograms) respectively that year. The study said European Union and Russia also have more emissions than India.

   India is among the world's worst performers when it comes to the overall environment.  A 2014 study by Yale University ranked India 155th out of 178 nations on an overall environmental performance index. On air pollution, we ranked last. The costs of these failures are high. A recent report in the New York Times estimated that air pollution in India may cost us over three years in life expectancy. This does not even count the costs of air pollution in infant mortality, disease and reduced productivity. WHO latest  surveys show that India has the world’s worst air pollution, and has 13 of the 20 most polluted cities of the world..

   India and US clean energy pact:  India and the U.S. on November 8, 2010 inked an agreement to establish a bilateral energy cooperation programme to promote clean and energy-efficient businesses, Indian and U.S. companies inked joint venture deals worth $175 million in the renewable energy sector. The US President Barack Obama  and Ex- Prime Minister Manmohan Singh announced the setting up of Joint Clean Energy Research and Development Centre.

   World Environment Day 2014

 September 18, 2014: India is on the brink of an urban revolution : UN

    Urban air pollution

  The Environment Pollution News

Diesel exhaust is contributing to a rise in asthma, respiratory illnesses

   More...

  New greenhouse gas has higher global warming impact than Carbon dioxide

  More...

WHO classified outdoor air pollution as a leading cause of cancer in humans

  More...

Climate, Ozone Threatened by Increasing Emissions of Laughing Gas, UNEP Warns

Global Warming

 Air Pollution

  India has the worst air pollution in the entire world, beating China, Pakistan, Nepal and Bangladesh, according to a study released during this year’s World Economic Forum in Davos. Of 132 countries whose environments were surveyed, India ranks dead last in the ‘Air (effects on human health)’ ranking. The annual study, the Environmental Performance Index, is conducted and written by environmental research centers at Yale and Columbia universities with assistance from dozens of outside scientists. The study uses satellite data to measure air pollution concentrations.
  The World Health Organization estimates that about two million people die prematurely every year as a result of Air pollution , while many more suffer from breathing ailments, heart disease, lung infections and even cancer. Fine particles or microscopic dust from coal or wood fires and unfiltered diesel engines are rated as one of the most lethal forms or air pollution caused by industry, transport,  household heating, cooking and ageing coal or oil-fired power stations.

  There are four reasons of air pollution are - emissions from vehicles, thermal power plants, industries and refineries. The problem of indoor air pollution in rural areas and urban slums has increased. CNG is not without environmental drawbacks says a new Central Pollution Control Board study on January 05, 2011.

  The study says burning CNG has the highest rates of potentially hazardous carbonyl emissions. The study also made a case for regulating CNG and other fuels for methane emissions. Methane, a greenhouse gas, is a key contributor to climate Change. Among the study's finds were that retrofitted CNG car engines emit 30% more methane than original CNG engines. Almost all CNG car engines in India are retrofitted.

 One major study in September 2011 found that components of diesel exhaust including particulate matter can cause biologic responses that are related to Asthma this exposure is associated with the inflammatory and immune responses involved in asthma. 
  Studies conducted in various parts of the world have revealed a strong link between type 2 diabetes and cardiovascular diseases and continuous exposure to ultra fine particulate matter present in the air. Particluate matter in the air which is very fine and is less than 2.5 microns in size is called PM2.5 and has been known to cause diabetes and cardiovascular diseases. 

  Indian air pollution has been blamed for its dry monsoon season, but a scientist has revealed that European pollution may also play a part in it. The volume of the summer monsoon has been weakening since the 1950s. And Yi Ming of Princeton University in New Jersey claimed his experimental models suggest that the effect of European aerosol pollution accounts for about half the drop in the volume of monsoon rainfall – the other half pollution over south Asia.

   Pollution over northern India

 Space Shuttle view of haze and pollution over Northern India swept in from Tibet. Credit: NASA

Carbon Farming
Large-scale plantations of the hardy Jatropha curcas Plant ,  could help sequester carbon dioxide through a process known as ‘carbon farming’ . 

  United Nation's IPCC report on Climate Change 2014

 Coal pollution:  India’s environmental problems are exacerbated by its heavy reliance on coal for power generation. More than 80 per cent of energy is produced from coal, a fuel that emits a high amount of carbon and greenhouse gases, said Bikash. According to IMF chief Christine Lagarde  pollution from coal generation plants causes about 70,000 premature deaths every year in India. Andhra Pradesh, the coastal state of eastern India is experiencing a coal-plant construction boom, including the 4,000-MW  Krishnapatnam Ultra Mega Power Project, one of nine such massive projects in planning or under construction in country.

  On August 23, 2011 the Jharkhand State Pollution Control Board has ordered the closure of 22 BCCL mines in the underground fire zone of Jharia.  BCCL had taken over most of the 103 mines from private owners. Hence, none of them had got environmental clearances. Most of the coal mines under the JSPCB's scanner were located in Jharia.

The 2,640-MW Sompeta plant proposed by Nagarjuna Construction Company and the 2,640-MW Bhavanapadu plant proposed by East Coast Energy have both provoked large nonviolent protests that have ended in police attacks, including four deaths of local residents. As of May 2011, the Sompeta plant had been cancelled and the Bhavanapadu plant had been placed on hold by officials, with corruption investigations continuing.

On April 12, 2011 the Ministry of Environment and Forests (MoEF) has tightened pollution monitoring norms for power projects with a generation capacity of 500 Mw and above, integrated steel plants with a capacity of 1 million tonnes per annum and cement plants with a capacity of 3 million tonnes per annum.

Polluting industrial units: On May 26, 2011 the Haryana State Pollution Control Board has ordered closure of 639 polluting industrial units in 2010-11 and directed the highly polluting industries to set up continuous online monitoring stations to ensure compliance of standards of air emissions. The Government has launched prosecution against 151 polluting units in the Special Environment Courts in Faridabad and Kurukshetra, install 9,239 units

Brick kilns are noxious sources of pollution:  India’s 100,000 brick kilns are noxious sources of pollution, particularly soot, and working them means a life that is always nasty, frequently brutish and often short. But on top of this social evil is an environmental one.

The exhaust from the kilns mixes with diesel emissions and other fumes to form a vast brown smog, known as an atmospheric brown cloud, which is up to 3km thick and thousands of kilometres long. Two of its main ingredients, the small carbon particles which the soot is composed of, and ozone, a triatomic form of oxygen, are important contributors to the greenhouse effect, and thus to climate change.

  Aircraft pollutants:  According to a study published in the journal Environmental Science and Technology (EST) in the first week of October 2010, almost 8,000 people will die due to aircraft pollutants this year, and 3,500 of them would be from India and China.

  A recent report by MIT researchers says that the harmful pollutants emitted by an aircraft at an altitude of 35,000ft are fatal for people. The report says that nitrogen and sulphur oxides emitted by aircraft at  35,000ft combine with other gases in the atmosphere to create noxious particulate matter.

 Vehicle emissions are responsible for 70% of the country’s air pollution. The major problem with government efforts to safeguard the environment has been enforcement at the local level, not with a lack of laws. Air pollution from vehicle exhaust and industry is a worsening problem for India. Exhaust from vehicles has increased eight-fold over levels of twenty years ago; industrial pollution has risen four times over the same period. The economy has grown two and a half times over the past two decades but pollution control and civil services have not kept pace. Air quality is worst in big cities like KolkataDelhi, Mumbai, Chennai, etc.

  Bangalore holds the title of being the asthma capital of the country. Air pollution in the city continues to rise due to vehicular emissions and dust from construction activities, according to the "Environment Report Card of Bangalore 2012". It says the number of vehicles on the city roads have exceeded 3.7 million and there has been a consistent increase in the number vehicles at an average of 8% per year.

  CHENNAI: Exhaust from vehicles, dust from construction debris, industrial  waste, burning of municipal and garden waste are all on the rise in the city. So are respiratory diseases, including asthma. At least six of the 10 top causes of death are related to respiratory disease, says Dr D Ranganathan, director (in-charge), Institute of Thoracic Medicine.
  Mumbai: Not only are levels of Suspended Particulate Matter above permissible limits in Mumbai, but the worst pollutant after vehicular emissions has grown at an alarming rate. The levels of Respirable Suspended Particulate Matter (RSPM), or dust, in Mumbai’s air have continued to increase over the past three years.

  The air pollution in Mumbai is so high that Mumbai authorities have purchased 42,000 litres of perfume to spray on the city’s enormous waste dumps at Deonar and Mulund landfill sites after people living near the landfill sites complained of the stench. The Deonar landfill site, one of India’s largest, was first used by the British in 1927. Today, the festering pile covers more than 120 hectares and is eight storys high.

 Bhopal:   Bhopal gas tragedy was the greatest industrial disaster in the world that took place at a Union Carbide pesticide plant in the Indian city of Bhopal, Madhya Pradesh. At midnight on 3 December 1984, the plant accidentally released methyl isocyanate (MIC) gas, exposing more than 500,000 people to MIC and other chemicals. The first official immediate death toll was 2,259. The government of Madhya Pradesh has confirmed a total of 3,787 deaths related to the gas release  Others estimate 8,000-10,000 died within 72 hours and 25,000 have since died from gas-related diseases, making it the deadliest man-made environmental disaster in history.

 The effects of air pollution are obvious: rice crop yields in southern India are falling as brown clouds block out more and more sunlight. The brilliant white of the famous Taj Mahal is slowly fading to a sickly yellow.  
 Birds and species affected: The population of 50 percent of the 288 species recorded in the western Himalayas,  Himachal Pradesh and Jammu and Kashmir, have declined more than half in just 10 years according to World Environment Day 2012.

US supreme court's pollution ruling

The US supreme court endorsed the Environmental Protection Agency's efforts to deal with air pollution blowing across state lines on April 29, 2014 , in an important victory for the Obama administration as well as downwind states.
Nearly half of all Americans live in areas with unhealthy levels of air pollution , according to an American Lung Association (ALA) report released on 30 April 2014.
Nearly 148 million people live in areas where smog and soot particles make it unhealthy to breathe the air, according to the ALA's annual study on US air quality.

Diesel exhaust fumes can cause cancer: WHO

   Diesel engine exhaust fumes can cause cancer in humans and belong in the same potentially deadly category as asbestos, arsenic and mustard gas, World Health Organization (WHO) experts said on June 15, 2012.
  Outside of Europe and India, diesel engines are almost entirely confined to commercial vehicles. German carmakers are trying to raise awareness for diesels in the United States, where the long distances traveled on highways suit diesel engines.

Ozone exposure could trigger heart attacks
  Pollutants from vehicles, power plants, industry, chemical solvents and consumer products create ground level ozone by reacting in the presence of sunlight. Recent studies have linked acute exposure to ozone and death but little is known about the underlying pathways responsible, the journal Circulation reports on June 26, 2012.

 Pollution in Taj City 

Even after 20 years of judicial activism this Taj city remains pock-marked with mounds of garbage. Air and water pollution threaten the health of people and the world famous monuments that is visited by millions of tourists every year. 
  More..

   Indoor air pollution: Indoor air pollution is the most important cause of chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) in India, says a prevalence study conducted by Pune-based Chest Research Foundation (CRF) and the Imperial College, London in November 2010. Over 700 million people in India suffer from high levels of indoor air pollution affecting women and young children as 75 per cent homes use biomass fuel like wood, crop residue and dung cakes. The National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences (NIEHS) is working to understand how exposures to environmental agents trigger diseases such as Asthma, and these diseases can be prevented, diagnosed and treated. Additionally, the NIEHS is developing and testing new technologies to help determine environmental triggers and reduce asthma symptoms.

   River water Pollution

   Contaminated and polluted water now kills more people than all forms of violence including wars, according to a United Nations report released on March 22, 2010 on World Water Day that calls for turning unsanitary wastewater into an environmentally safe economic resource. According to the report -- titled "Sick Water?" -- 90 percent of wastewater discharged daily in developing countries is untreated, contributing to the deaths of some 2.2 million people a year from diarrheal diseases caused by unsafe drinking water and poor hygiene. At least 1.8 million children youngerthan 5 die every year from water-related diseases. 
 Fully 80 percent of urban waste in India ends up in the country's rivers, and unchecked urban growth across the country combined with poor government oversight means the problem is only getting worse. A growing number of bodies of water in India are unfit for human use, and in the River Ganga, holy to the country's 82 percent Hindu majority, is dying slowly due to unchecked pollution.

   New Delhi's body of water is little more than a flowing  garbage dump, with fully 57 percent of the city's waste finding its way to the Yamuna. It is that three billion liters of waste are pumped into Delhi's Yamuna (River Yamuna)  each day. Only 55 percent of the 15 million Delhi residents are connected to the city's sewage system. The remainder flush their bath water, waste water and just about everything else down pipes and into drains, most of them empty into the Yamuna. According to the Centre for Science and Environment, between 75 and 80 percent of the river's pollution is the result of raw sewage. Combined with industrial runoff, the garbage thrown into the river and it totals over 3 billion liters of waste per day. Nearly 20 billion rupees, or almost US $500 million, has been spent on various clean up efforts. 

   The frothy brew is so glaring that it can be viewed on Google Earth.

   Much of the river pollution problem in India comes from untreated sewage. Samples taken recently from the Ganges River near Varanasi show that levels of fecal coliform, a dangerous bacterium that comes from untreated sewage, were some 3,000 percent higher than what is considered safe for bathing.

Current urban transport

In India, close to 1.5 lakh people die every year due to road traffic accidents and a majority of them are pedestrians and cyclists. About 6 lakh premature deaths take place in the country annually on account of air pollution. Also there are issues around climate change,
energy security and others, all of which are directly linked to the transportation system of our cities and towns.

Metal Pollution On Lakes  

Indian researchers say that heavy metal pollution of lakes has a significant detrimental impact on people and ecosystems that rely on such bodies of water.

Bhopal gas tragedy
The greatest industrial disaster  in the world

  Groundwater exploitation

   Groundwater exploitation is a serious matter of concern today and legislations and policy measures taken till date, by the state governments (water is a state subject) have not had the desired effect on the situation.

  Groundwater Quality and Pollution   is most alarming pollution hazards in India. On April 01, 2010 at least 18 babies in several hamlets of Bihar’s Bhojpur district have been born blind in the past three months because their families consume groundwater containing alarming levels of arsenic, confirmed by Bihar’s Health Minister Nand Kishore Yadav on Wednesday, 31st March 2010 confirmed the cases of blindness in newborns in arsenic- affected blocks of the district.

   According to the World Health Organization on World Water Day 2012, on March 22 each year, an estimated four billion people get sick with  diarrhea as a result of drinking unsafe water, inadequate sanitation, and poor hygiene. Nearly two million people die from diarrhea each year, and many of them children under the age of five, poor, and living in the developing world. Improper disposal of solid waste, both by the public and Bruhat Bangalore Mahanagara Palike (BBMP) is causing direct contamination of groundwater, according to Dr M A Farooqui, scientist, Central Ground Water Board (CGWB).

  Plastic Pollution

   Plastic bags, plastic thin sheets and plastic waste is also a major source of pollution. A division bench of Allahabad High Court, comprising Justice Ashok Bhushan and Justice Arun Tandon, in May 03, 2010 had directed the Ganga Basin Authority and the state government to take appropriate action to ban the use of polythene in the vicinity of Ganga in the entire state. Also  Plastic Bag Pollution in the country    is the biggest hazards. On  August 2, 2010, seeking to know whether a fine should be imposed on paan masala or gutkha packet manufacturers for polluting and choking the drainage systems, the Supreme Court has directed the Union government to file its reply in six weeks.

  Municipal solid waste

  India’s urban population slated to increase from the current 330 million to about 600 million by 2030,  the challenge of managing municipal solid waste (MSW) in an environmentally and economically sustainable manner is bound to assume gigantic proportions . The country has over 5,000 cities and towns, which generate about 40 million tonnes of MSW per year today. Going by estimates of The Energy Research Institute (TERI), this could well touch 260 million tonnes per year by 2047.
  Municipal solid waste is solid waste generated by households, commercial establishments and offices and does not include the industrial or agricultural waste. Municipal solid waste management is more of an administrative and institutional mechanism failure problem rather than a technological one. Until now, MSW management has been considered to be almost the sole responsibility of urban governments, without the participation of citizens and other stakeholders. The Centre and the Supreme Court, however, have urged that this issue be addressed with multiple stakeholder participation. Cities in India spend approximately 20% of the city budget on solid waste services.

UN Climate Summit 2011 in Durban
 

 Millions ask EPA on Pollution Limits
 Three million Americans have written comments on August 15, 2012 asking the Environmental Protection Agency to implement tougher national standards to limit industrial carbon pollution from new coal-fired power plants.

  

    Dal Lake is dying
  Dal Lake once the most beautiful lake in India now it has halved in size in a generation to about 12 square kilometres, and, clogged by weeds, its average depth is now 1.2 metres, in some places a 10th of what it was. Dal Lake's water, which still provides the city of Srinagar with the bulk of its drinking water, has been found to contain dangerous levels of arsenic and lead. Fish stocks are dwindling and the lake vulnerable to massive algal bloom outbreaks.
 Currently, 1200 houseboats have permits, but  are unconnected for sewage or garbage disposal. About 70,000 people call the lake home, and depend on it for their livelihoods. 
   

   



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