Out of world's top 20 polluted cities 13 are in India
New Delhi, June 09, 2015: Of the world’s top 20 polluted cities, 13 are in India compared to just
three in China. Air pollution slashes life expectancy by 3.2 years for the 660 million Indians who live in cities, including Delhi. In China,
the corresponding dip is marginally lower at three years.
The Ganga and Yamuna are ranked among the world’s 10 most polluted rivers. China has just one. An evaluation in February ranked Vapi in
Gujarat and Sukinda in Odisha among the 10 most environmentally-degraded zones in the world. China had no entries on the list.
China leads the world in carbon emissions and India is in third position. But one important difference
between the two emerging economies lies in China’s ability to manage the impact of breakneck economic growth on its environment much better than
India. The effect of China’s success is most visible in its air and water, both of which have a direct bearing on public health.
Both countries were saddled with almost identical environmental concerns a decade ago, but China cleaned many of its polluted rivers and managed
to check the spiralling urban air pollution through stringent rules.
As a results “Beijing's air pollution has dipped 40% since 2000 as we have taken steps to phase out polluting vehicles and put
checks on building heating systems,” said Beijing municipal officer Li Kunsheng In contrast, Delhi's air pollution has steadily climbed by 20% in the
same period with successive governments reluctant to act. The impact of rising toxins in the air is clearly visible on an average
Indian's life, as proved by a Lancet study in 2012 that ranked air pollution as the sixth biggest killer with an annual estimated toll of 66 million.
A 2015 report by the Centre for Science and Environment, a Delhi-based NGO, says the decline in the country's overall environmental standards
was because of river pollution, which is worse now than it was three decades ago, piling garbage in cities and increasingly toxic urban air.
Union environment minister Prakash Javadekar is hopeful of people's participation pushing governments to improve the environment, saying a
policy of "development without destruction" is in place.
In the coming years, his ministry plans to introduce a new environmental
regime that will focus on "self-regulation" and strengthen the "polluter-pay principle" with higher penalties for violation of
environmental laws. Source: hindustantimes.com