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Environmental Pollution in India    (Page 4)


   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

   Invasive alien species

   Invasive alien species

   Invasive alien species are species whose introduction and/or  spread outside their natural habitats threatens biological diversity. They occur in all groups, including animals, plants, fungi, bacteria and viruses, and can affect all types of ecosystems. They can directly affect human health. Infectious diseases are often traced to IAS imported by travellers or vectored by exotic species of birds, rodents and insects. IAS also have indirect health effects on humans as a result of the use of pesticides and herbicides, which pollute water and soil. The biggest casualty of such species has been our rich biodiversity, and threats to food security.

    MIKANIA MICRANTHA, is of the most prominent invasive aliens in India. It is a major threat in many parts of the country, it grows 8 to 9 cm a day and muzzles small plants and chokes larger trees as coconut and oil palm. 

   Parthenium: Parthenium Hystrophorous a poisonous plant The parthenium now occupies 50 lakh hectares in the country and has become a major health hazard for people and animals.
PROSOPIS JULIFLORA : Vilayati babul(prosopis juliflora) was introduced in India in last century as a very promising species for the afforestation of dry and degraded land. But now it has emerged as a noxious invader that can grow in diverse ecosystems, enable it to wipe out other plant species in its surroundings.

  Pollution trading

  India may let power companies start trading renewable-energy credits in May in a push to create a multibillion- dollar market to encourage reductions in greenhouse-gas emissions. The estimates trade in renewable energy credits could rise to as much as $10 billion by 2020. India is pressing ahead with its own efforts to fight climate change after last month’s Copenhagen talks failed to reach a new global climate treaty. The move puts the world’s fourth-largest emitter ahead of China and other developing nations in creating a domestic emissions-trading market to boost investment in solar, wind and other clean-energy projects.

   India is the second-largest generator of carbon credits in the United Nations Clean Development Mechanism, the world’s second-biggest greenhouse-gas trading market. Certified Emissions Credits, or CERs, issued for pollution- cutting  projects in India are sold to businesses in Europe and elsewhere seeking to meet either mandatory or voluntary limits.

  Poverty is the biggest polluter

   During his meet with editors on July 01, 2011 Prime Minister Manmohan Singh remarked that "poverty is the biggest polluter" and India needs to achieve a balance between environment and development - industrialization.   Indira Gandhi, the former prime minister announced at the United Nations’ first environmental conference, in 1972, that “Poverty is the biggest polluter.” Those sentiments were echoed by the prime minister, but Manmohan Singh  have forgotten that Indira Gandhi created the country's environmental governance structure during her tenure as prime minister. It was Indira Gandhi's intervention that supported the call stop a hydro-electric project in Silent Valley, Kerala - saving an ecosystem rich in biodiversity. It was Indira Gandhi's concern that Mussorie, the queen of the hills, was being stripped naked by limestone mining that led the Environment Ministry to take action.

   The poor live in the places polluted by the rich, they do not cause the pollution. And they live in polluted places because they are displaced from their homes in rural areas where they had lived sustainable for millennia. India's economy of sustenance is being uprooted by means of violence in order to enable POSCO to export our iron-ore and steel. In June, 2011 it was the women and children of Govindpur, Dinkia and Nuagaon in Orissa who laid down in front of the police in the scorching sun in an effort to stop the land grab. To farmers, tribles who form the bulk of protesters as POSCO agitation against land acquisition  land is far more economically essential than a job of a petty unskilled worker in a factory.

 The most polluted places in India

  Vapi in Gujarat and Sukinda in Orrisa is among the worlds top 10 most polluted places, according to the Blacksmith Institute, a New York-based nonprofit group. Vapi returns to top, is again most polluted in country according to Central Pollution Control Board’s interim report on May 21, 2012.
 Vapi :  Potentially affected people: 71,000 -Pollutants: Chemicals and heavy metals due to its Industrial estates. 
 Sukinda:  Potentially affected people: 2,600,000. -Pollutants: Hexavalent chromium due to its  Chromite mines. 

   As many as 51 Indian cities have extremely high air pollution, Patna, Lucknow, Raipur, Faridabad and Ahmedabad topping the list. An environment and forest ministry report, released on September 14, 2007 has identified 51 cities that do not meet the prescribed Respirable Particulate Matter (RSPM) levels, specified under the National Ambient Air Quality Standards (NAAQS). In 2005, an Environmental Sustainability Index (ESI) placed India at 101st position among 146 countries. 

   Taking a cue from the finding, the Central Pollution Control Board (CPCB) formulated NAAQS and checked the air quality, which led to the revelation about air quality in leading cities.   According to the report, Gobindgarh in Punjab is the most polluted city, and Ludhiana, Raipur and Lucknow hold the next three positions. Faridabad on the outskirt of Delhi is the 10th most polluted city, followed by Agra, the city of Taj Mahal.  Ahmedabad is placed 12th, Indore 16th, Delhi 22nd, Kolkata 25th, Mumbai 40th, Hyderabad 44th and Bangalore stands at 46th in the list. The Orissa town of Angul, home to National Aluminium Company (NALCO), is the 50th polluted city of the country.

 Emissions of gaseous pollutants: satellite data

   Scientists and researchers from around the world gathered at ESRIN, ESA’s Earth Observation Centre in Frascati, Italy, recently to discuss the contribution of satellite data in monitoring nitrogen dioxide in the atmosphere.  Using nitrogen dioxide (NO2) data acquired from 1996 to 2006 by the Global Ozone Monitoring Experiment (GOME) instrument aboard ESA’s ERS-2 satellite, Nitrous oxide emissions over India is growing at an annual rate of 5.5 percent/year. The location of emission hot spots correlates well with the location of mega thermal power plants, mega cities, urban and industrial regions.

   Emissions of gaseous pollutants have increased in India over the past two decades. According to Dr Sachin Ghude of the Indian Institute of Tropical Meteorology (IITM), rapid industrialization, urbanization and traffic growth are most likely responsible for the increase. Because of varying consumption patterns and growth rates, the distribution of emissions vary widely across India.

  Mahatma Gandhi had said that nature has enough to satisfy everyone’s need but has not enough to satisfy man’s greed. Industrialisation is not without price. All these have a direct bearing on environmental pollution leading to climatic change.   
 Green Cars of Future
Zero Pollution Motors is the company with a vision, and is working on creating a car that needs nothing more than compressed air to take drivers where they want to go. French visionaries, Motor Development International (MDI), conceived the idea of “compressed -air vehicles.”  

   Solar cars use photovoltaic (PV) cells to convert sunlight into Environmental pollutio electricity.

   Toxic Release

 Per capita emission in 2007-08 in select cities across the world (in a study in October 2009)::

 Jamshedpur - 2.76 tonnes
      Gargaon - 2.33 tonnes
      Kolkata  - 1.83 tonnes
      Delhi      - 1.6 tonnes
    Faridabad - 1.58 tonnes
    Bangalore - 0.82 tonnes
Washington DC- 19.7 tonnes
Beijing,China - 6.9 tonnes
London, UK   - 6.2 tonnes Source:
  and  ICLEI study

  Is nuclear energy a solution of global warming?

  Nuclear power plant

  India a country of 1.1 billion people currently gets only a fraction of its electricity from nuclear power. Now the US atomic trade pact with India and an atomic energy pact with France,  India can fight global warming with clean nuclear energy. Nuclear energy has been recognized as a clean as CO2 to the atmosphere after its reaction that could damage our environment. It is also known that nuclear energy has reduced the amount of greenhouse gas emission, reducing emissions of CO2 for about 500 million metric tons of carbon. 

   Indian Civil Liability for Nuclear Damage Bill, 2010 is meant to pave the way for India to sign International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEAs) Convention on Supplementary Compensation (CSC) for Nuclear Damage, 1997. The question that stares citizens in the face is:whether or not the proposed liability Bill and the pre-existing IAEAs compensation treaty in the supreme interest of present and future generation of Indians?.
  As on August 23, 2010 among the 18 amendments suggested to the Nuclear Liabilities Bill is one that leaves a window open for private operators of Nuclear plants. The standing committees had expressed its opinion against private operators.  
   India needs to learn appropriate lessons from the worst nuclear accidents of Japan and take additional safeguards, but the country cannot abandon its nuclear energy programme, said Minister for Environment and Forests Jairam Ramesh on March 20, 2011.  
  Jaitapur, the site for India's largest nuclear power plant has taken again a violent turn on April 13, 2011 against the proposed nuclear power plant. Even as the world debates nuclear energy, here at ground zero in Jaitapur, the land has been taken over and the people have refused to accept any cheques of compensation from the State government.  More..
Nuclear power plants in India

 Pollution due to Distilleries

   The distillery sector is one of the seventeen categories of major polluting industries in India. These units generate large volume of dark brown coloured wastewater, which is known as ?spent wash?. Spent wash contains high organic pollutants such as Total Dissolved Solids (TDS) - 85000 to 95,000 mg/l, Biochemical Oxygen Demand (BOD) - 45,000 to 60,000 mg/l and Chemical Oxygen Demand  80,000 to 1, 20,000 mg/l.

   Thus, the distillery wastewater causes serious pollution problems in the recipient water bodies when discharged, resulting in depletion of dissolved oxygen in water and adverse affect on aquatic life, fish, phytoplankton etc. Also, it pollutes groundwater and drinking water when discharged on land. Application of distillery wastewater for irrigation of crops causes soil pollution i.e. salinity.

  The Government has notified environmental standards for the distillery sector under the Environment (Protection) act, 1986. The Government is also encouraging the distilleries to achieve zero discharge of effluent.This information was given by Shri Jairam Ramesh in Lok Sabha on August 4, 2010.

 Reduce pollutions: suggestions

  Projects to save Agra monuments back on trac:   The growing threat from pollution to India's prized monuments, including the Taj Mahal, has prompted the authorities to speed up action on March 22, 2011. The project aims to insulate the world heritage monuments, including Fatehpur Sikri, Agra Fort and the Taj Mahal. A set of eight schemes to control pollution and save these monuments has been submitted for clearance from the state government before being presented to the Planning Commission to include them in the 12th Five Year Plan (2012-2017).

   World Bank Cooperation on India's Green Agenda: India and the World Bank agreed on January 13, 2011 to further strengthen their partnership to advance India's green-growth agenda. The Bank will now support to strengthen Indian capacity of Central Pollution Controls Board, State Pollution Control Boards and biodiversity conservation in addition to other various projects for which financial support have already been given.

  India to build advanced coal-fired power plant :   Indian scientists aim to built an advanced ultra-super critical coal-fired power plant in the next six years. Once realised, the plant is expected to put India in a very select group of nations having the technology which would reduce the amount of pollution when compared with the current thermal power plants.

     Green Court launched:   India launched a "green" court on October 19, 2010 to make polluters pay damages as it steps up its policing of the country's environmental laws. Environment Minister Jairam Ramesh said India was only the third country in the world after Australia and New Zealand to set up such a tribunal. "This is the first body of its kind (in India) to apply the polluter pays principle and the principle of sustainable development," Ramesh told reporters in New Delhi.

   National Action Plan on Climate Change:  The Centre has made a provision of Rs. 25,000 crore to mitigate the effects of climate change, a serious problem that India will face in the coming decades, Minister of State for Environment and Forests Jairam Ramesh told the Rajya Sabha on August 21, 2010. Besides, the Finance Ministry has also sanctioned Rs. 5,000 crore as recommended by the 13th Finance Commission to tackle this serious problem,” Mr. Ramesh said  About 220 scientists from 120 research institutions were working on assessing the impact of climate change on agriculture, water, health and forests.

  National Clean Energy Fund (NCEF) - for funding research and innovative projects in clean energy technology. Allocation for National Ganga River Basin Authority has been doubled in 2010-11 to Rs.500 crore. The “Mission Clean Ganga 2020” under the National Ganga River Basin Authority (NGRBA) with the objective that no untreated municipal sewage or industrial influent will be discharged into the National river has already been initiated

 Worst 5 Indian power companies in terms of total emission of CO2  
-Maharastra State Power Gen Co.
- Gujrat Urja Vikas Nigam
- Uttar Pradesh Rajya Vidyut
- Andhra Pradesh Power Gen Corp
 There are 20 Nuclear power plants in India 

  Chemical waste in UP river takes toll of aquatic life

  A large number of dead fish have been found floating on the banks of the Ramganga River in Uttar Pradesh's Moradabad District on august 19, 2012, due to the dumping of chemical waste from nearby industries.The fishes die due to the chemical waste thrown in the river and float on the surface of the river. We catch these fishes. Many fishes, turtles, snakes all die due to the poisonous water,” said a fisherman.

 ETP dicharge at Vapi 


  Cycle today a lifestyle choice that indicates concern for good health and environmental issues, such as containing pollution. 


1. "NATIONAL AIR QUALITY MONITORING PROGRAMME"  Ministry of Environment & Forests, Government of India. 2011.
2. United Nations Environment Programme   
3. "The Asian Brown Cloud: Climate and Other Environmental Impacts"  United Nations Environmental Programme. 2002. 
5, Devendra Pandey (2002). "Fuelwood Studies in India: Myth and Reality"  Center for International Forestry Research.
6  Reddy and Venkataraman: "Inventory of aerosol and sulphur dioxide emissions from India"
7. Atmanand et al. (2009). "Energy and Sustainable Development-An Indian Perspective"
 . World Academy of Science.

 Solar power production yields lead emissions

 A new study conducted by an engineering professor from University of Tennessee, Knoxville found that solar power production yields to high lead emissions, especially in developing countries.
  The study led by Chris Cherry found out that solar power using lead batteries has the tendency to release more than 2.4 million tons of lead emissions in China and India. 

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