Air pollution levels in Chennai have reached a record high
Chennai, July 22, 2015: Air pollution levels in Chennai have reached a record high
with the suspended particulate matter in many pockets of the city at 45 per cent above the permissible limit, according to data analysed by The Hindu.
So high are the pollution levels that Chennai has crossed Delhi, widely regarded as the most polluted city in the country, and one of the most polluted in the world.
With the rains staying away, air quality in Chennai is getting worse every day. The industrial belt in north Chennai has always been a polluting factor.
And while the Metro may eventually reduce pollution, for now the added construction and traffic jams are only making matters worse, especially in south Chennai.
More than 700 new vehicles get added every day to Chennai's roads, which contributes to a rise in Sulphur dioxide levels. "Traffic is moving at snails speed. That is one of the major reasons
behind the Sulphur dioxide and carbon monoxide emission. But when compared to other yes it is disturbing," explains Dr P
Sudhakar, Joint Director, CPR Environmental Education Centre.
Green panel directs commercial vehicles entering Delhi to pay environmental tax
New Delhi, October 10, 2015: Acting tough to curb pollution in the national capital,
the National Green Tribunal on Wednesday directed all commercial vehicles entering Delhi to pay environmental compensation charge in addition to the toll tax.
The green panel ordered that the compensation would be payable at the
rates of Rs. 700 for two-axle vehicles, Rs. 1,000 for three-axle and Rs.500 for four- axle and above.
"It is a conceded position before us that vehicular pollution is one of the main sources of inferior quality of air in Delhi.... Nearly 66,000
heavy commercial vehicles enter Delhi daily. It will be in our considered view, appropriate to direct the check posts to charge transport heavy vehicles entering Delhi as their final
destination or enroute to other places entering from Sonipat to pay environmental compensation in addition to toll tax payable," a bench headed by Justice Swatanter Kumar said.
The bench noted that the charges payable by heavy vehicles at toll tax
in Delhi was Rs. 600 while in Haryana it varied from Rs. 930 to Rs. 1,550 depending on the kind of trucks entering the state.
The bench also made it clear that all vehicles destined for places other
than Delhi shall be diverted at Panipat to take alternate route via NH-71A and NH-71 and exit at Bawal in Haryana.
"The trucks which are not destined to Delhi and have not taken alternate
route would not be permitted to enter the capital and would be returned to Panipat to take alternate route," the Tribunal said.
It also directed that the additional amount collected in form of environment compensation by the check posts would be paid to Delhi
Pollution Control Committee (DPCC) which will maintain a separate account.
"The collected amount would be used for improving the ambient air quality of the capital," the bench said. It also directed Central
Pollution Control Board (CPCB) and DPCC to purchase or arrange instruments for checking emission of moving overloaded heavy vehicles. Source: PTI
World Bank Report shows China’s Air is much worse than India
June 25, 2015: According to recently released estimates by the World Bank, China’s air is more than twice as dirty as India. The bank’s “Little Green Data Book” of environmental indicators,
unveiled last week, included a new gauge of air pollution. To the standard measures of environmental health–including forest cover and carbon emissions–it added PM 2.5 levels, which measure airborne particles smaller than 2.5 microns.
These tiny pollutants are microscopic and can enter the lungs and even pollute a person’s blood stream. They are linked to severe health problems including lung cancer.
“These data show that in many parts of the world exposure to air pollution is increasing at an alarming rate and has become the main
environmental threat to health,” the forward of the World Bank book said. “Exposure to ambient PM 2.5 pollution in 2010 resulted in more than 3.2 million premature deaths globally.”
The World Bank data put the South Asian nation’s annual mean PM 2.5 at 32 micrograms per cubic meter. That’s three times the bank’s recommended level of 10 or
less, but in line with the global average. It is also well below China’s
mean annual exposure of 73 micrograms per cubic meter. Of the 200 countries in the book, only the United Arab Emirates did worse than China.
The World Bank data showed that air quality deteriorates as countries
evolve from lower income levels and become more affluent. Air only starts to improve once countries attain high-income status, which the
World Bank defines as having gross national income per capita of $12,746 or more. Source: .wsj.com
Air pollution may damage brain
New York,June 16, 2015 :Long-term exposure to air pollution may lead to loss of white matter in
the brain, a research has found. White matter in the brain is made of axon cells, which enable the nerves to communicate.
In a new study, older women who lived in places with higher air pollution had significantly reduced white matter in the brain.
"Investigating the impact of air pollution on the human brain is a new
area of environmental neurosciences," said lead author of the study Jiu-Chiuan Chen from Keck School of Medicine, University of Southern California in the US.