One of the biggest environmental news that has hit the front pages of various newspapers is the inflating rate of pollution in India. But this problem isn’t as new as it seems, and so is the news of the population crisis.
The World Health Organization (WHO), recently released an updated list of cities with the most pollution throughout the world. The measurement was based on the amount of PM 2.5, in the air. PM 2.5 are tiny particles of diameter 2.5mm, deadly to humans when inhaled in excess. Studies have shown that there is a close link between exposure to fine particles and premature death from heart and lung diseases. Fine particles can come from various sources. They include power plants, motor vehicles, airplanes, residential wood burning, forest fires, agricultural burning, volcanic eruptions and dust storms.
While the news is built up now, this problem actually dates back many years. In 2016, 14 of the 20 most polluted cities were from India. There are many studies that show that Indian cities are dominating world air pollution list.
But here is the biggest question people are asking, is population the reason behind India’s pollution crisis?
In 2013, NASA measured the relationship between the urban population and air pollution. The study shows that ‘the variation is a reflection of regional differences such as industrial development, per capita emissions and geography.’
While China also battles with pollution, they came up with various measures to resolve this problem and studies have shown that China is winning its war against pollution. But all of it started with letting people know how and what was causing the pollution in their country, after which the government created several measures to control it.
“It is unacceptable that over 3 billion people – most of them women and children – are still breathing deadly smoke every day from using polluting stoves and fuels in their homes. If we don’t take urgent action on air pollution, we will never come close to achieving sustainable development,” said Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, director-general of WHO.
Last year, a public health emergency was declared in Delhi as pollution levels crossed 70 times the safe limit.
Even though we have good news such as the Ujjwala Scheme, where government providing women in rural areas LPG instead of using firewood which has various negative health effects, a lot more needs to be done.
One of the many things that can help India’s pollution crises is to educate people about it. The more people know about the crisis and how it is affecting them on a personal level, and start thinking about their own action, then can we all improve the conditions of our country.