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Environmental Pollution in India    (Page 2)


   Pollution due to Mining
   Pollution due to biomedical waste
   Pollution due to e-Waste
   Noise pollution
   Light pollution

   Pollution due to Mining

  Pollution due to mining

   New Delhi-based Center for Science and Environment (CSE) on December 29, 2007 said mining was causing displacement, pollution, forest degradation and social unrest. According to the Centre for Science and Environment ( CSE) report the top 50 mineral producing districts, as many as 34 fall under the 150 most backward districts identified in the country. 

  The CSE report has made extensive analysis of environment degradation and pollution due to mining, wherein it has said, in 2005-06 alone 1.6 billion tonnes of waste and overburden from coal, iron ore, limestone and bauxite have added to environment pollution. With the annual growth of mining at 10.7 per cent and 500-odd mines awaiting approval of the Centre, the pollution would increase manifold in the coming years.

  The mines of Mahanadi Coal Fields and NTPC draw about 25 Cr litres of water per day from the River Brahmani and in return they release thousands of gallons of waste water, which contains obnoxious substances like Ash, Oil, Heavy Metals, Grease, Fluorides, Phosphorus, Ammonia, Urea and Sulphuric Acid, into the River Nandira (A tributary of River Brahmani). The effluents from chlorine plant cause chloride and sodium toxicity to the river Rushikulya – the lifeline of southern Orissa. The Phosphoric Fertilizer Industry discharges effluent containing Nitric, Sulphuric and Phosphoric acids into river Mahanadi.

   Goa   open cast extraction of iron ore has created a degraded   air and ground water pollution and severe damage to the state's   landscape in   deforestation,  ground and surface water pollution and damage to agricultural land. The Supreme Court on February 25, 2011 ordered a probe by its committee into alleged illegal mining in Bellary and other forest areas of Karnataka. 

   The explosive report of Lokayukta on July 28, 2011 uncovered major violations and systemic corruption in mining in Bellary  Environmental degradation in this region in terms of plundering forest land and complete violation of air and water pollution standards have been devastating . 

   Despite stone mining’s links to several occupational diseases  as pneumoconiosis, silicosis, tuberculosis, asbestosis and asthma, abject poverty keeps driving villagers in many parts of the Rajasthan state to illegal mining.  Rajasthan is the largest producer of dimensional stones in the country. The state produces 5 crore tonnes a year.

  An aluminum refinery in Orissa blithely continues to pollute the surrounding villages, despite the recommendations of the Supreme Court's Central Empowered Committee that it be closed since it poses environmental and health hazards. Rengopalli in the east and west cells of the Red Mud pond built for the refinery's alkaline waste disposal. Red Mud, which is the final waste product from bauxite. In the currently operational west cell, a ton of toxic waste is dumped for every ton of alumina produced in the refinery.

  In Jharkhand there are abundant coalmines, most of the coalmines are situated in Hazaribag, Chatra, Palamau, Rajmahal, Dhanbad and Ranchi district. Mighty Damodar River and its tributaries flow through these coalmines. Due to extensive coal mining and vigorous growth of industries in this area water resources have been contaminated.
  Thousands of villagers in Orissa are facing serious health risks as a “cocktail of toxic residue” leaks from an aluminium refinery, Amnesty International warned June 1, 2011. Amnesty said it has video footage showing toxic residue spilling onto the roads from the main red mud pond of the Vedanta aluminium refinery.

   Due to large scale illegal mining in India and in The Aravalli hills Range in Rajasthan  and Haryana the forest cover has been depleted 90 percent and  drying up wells and affecting agriculture. The governments remain silent in these years. Due to media and public protest the Supreme Court on February 20, 2010 directed cancellation of 157 mining leases operating in Rajasthan’s eco-sensitive Aravalli Hills. 

   The Saxena committee report accused the Vedanta smelters in Orissa, including the Posco Integrated Steel project in Orissa, which, at Rs 56,000 crore is the single-largest foreign direct investment in India, the Jindal thermal power plant in Chhattisgarh (Rs 10,000 crore), hydroelectric projects on Bhagirathi in Uttarakhand and the Navi Mumbai airport in Maharashtra (Rs 7,972 crore).

  Pollution due to biomedical waste

   Pollution due to biomedical waste is likely to spread disease dangerous to life and making atmosphere noxious to health. In early April, 2010 a machine from Delhi University containing cobalt-60, a radioactive metal used for radiotherapy in hospitals, ended up in a scrap yard in the city. The death from radiation poisoning of a scrap yard worker in Delhi has highlighted the lax enforcement of waste disposal laws in India. The International Atomic Energy Agency said it was the worst radiation incident worldwide in four years. 

   India being used as a dumping ground for hazardous waste, from foreign countries. Twenty containers with goods were detained by the officials of Special Intelligence and Investigation Branch attached to the Customs Department here recently. Packs of broken toys, used diapers, empty perfume bottles, used battery cells, thermocol, used aluminum foil packing materials and coloured surgical gloves were found in the containers. It could also lead to contamination and spread of communicable diseases.

  Pollution due to e-Waste

   A UN environmental conference in Cartagena, Colombia, attended by more than 170 countries in October 2011, has agreed to accelerate a global ban on the export of hazardous waste, including old electronics and discarded computers and mobile phones, from developed to developing countries. Environmental campaigners, who have been battling to broker a deal on the dumping of toxic waste for more than 20 years, said they were "ecstatic" about this "major breakthrough". "All forms of hazardous waste including that sent for recycling, to obsolete electronic waste, will be banned from leaving wealthy countries destined for developing countries."

  The UNEP report "Recycling – from E-Waste to Resources" was released on the Indonesian island of Bali on February 22, 2010 at the start of a week-long meeting of officials and environmentalists. According to the report's authors by 2020 e-waste in South Africa and China will have jumped by 200-400 per cent from 2007 levels, and by 500 per cent in India. 

  India produces about 3,80,000 tonnes of e-Waste per annum, which includes only the waste generated out of television sets, mobile phones and PCs, a major chunk of which comes from organizations.  E-waste produced in India includes over 100,000 tonnes from refrigerators, 275,000 tonnes from TVs, 56,300 tonnes from personal computers, 4,700 tonnes from printers and 1,700 tonnes from mobile phones. The un- organized recycling sector which fails to practice eco-friendly e-Waste recycling methods release large amount of toxic chemicals. The toxic gases and the large volume of Electronic Waste Adds environmental Pollution in India

   India imports almost 50,000 tonnes of e-waste yearly. It generated 330,000 tonnes of e-waste in 2007 and the number is expected to touch 470,000 tonnes by 2011, according to a study on e-waste assessment conducted  jointly by MAIT and the German government’s sustainable development body GTZ. in April 2010

  Noise pollution

   Noise pollution is a type of atmospheric pollution. It constitutes a real and present danger to people's health and can produce serious physical and psychological stress. Researches have proved that a loud noise during peak marketing hours creates tiredness, irritation and impairs brain activities so as to reduce thinking and working abilities. It affects sleep, hearing, communication, mental and physical health. It may even lead to the madness of people. High noise levels can contribute to cardiovascular effects in humans, a rise in blood pressure, and  an increased incidence of coronary artery disease. In animals also  noise can increase the risk of death by altering predator,  interfere with reproduction and navigation, and contribute to permanent hearing loss.

   A paper by federal scientists and Cornell University researchers published in October 2012 estimates that in the last 50 years, the area where the whales can effectively communicate in Stellwagen Bank and surrounding waters off Massachusetts has fallen by two-thirds because of the noise. The main source of noise pollution are automobiles, loudspeakers, firecrackers burst during festivals, industries, low-flying  aircrafts,  In India there is Noise Pollution Control Rule 2000 under Environment Protection Act 1996.

   Light pollution

   Light pollution is an unpleasant light that intrudes on an otherwise natural or low-light setting. Excessive light that leads to discomfort and adverse health effects is also a Light pollution. An adverse health effects may be caused by light pollution or excessive light exposure. Light pollution affects organisms and ecosystems, poses a serious threat in particular to nocturnal wildlife, having negative impacts on plant and animal physiology.

     Electronic waste

 More than 200 million people around the world are at risk of exposure to toxic e-waste, a report has concluded. The authors say the large number of people at risk places toxic waste in a similar league to public health threats such as malaria and tuberculosis.

The study from the Blacksmith Institute and Green Cross calls for greater efforts to be made to control the problem.The study carried out in more than 3,000 sites in over 49 countries.
  Electronic Waste Adds environmental Pollution in India

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