Tuesday, June 27, 2017

Guest Post: Air Pollution in North India and What is being done about it!

(On the heels of Indian Prime Minister Modi's visit to Washington, we are pleased to publish this informative guest post by Ms. Sahiba Sadana)

According to an news update in Times of India, India has been reported to have 10 cities in the list of top 20 polluted cities in the world. Air Pollution in India is quite a serious issue, especially in North India. 
According to NASA’s satellite image, Punjab, Haryana, and Delhi are the cities that are covered under the smog blanket more than others. 

Image Source: NASA

Until now, many were pointing towards the crackers [fireworks] burning on Diwali as the biggest reason behind the increasing air pollution a few years back. And, in a way it was true too. But, the crop burning seemed to be the major issue, as highlighted recently. The pollution caused due to this activity infects the lungs and can cause adverse respiratory issues. Down to this, the daily routine of the citizens in the national capital is extremely affected by the worse air quality. In fact, the rise in air pollution is directly proportional to the number of people visiting hospital for respiratory issues. 
Many people protested against the government and asked it to come up with a solution for this rising issue. In response, the government took a step ahead with NGT- National Green Tribunal which stated that burning the stubble should be banned completely. Also, the state government of Delhi has announced that there will be vacuum cleaning and water sprinkling over arterial roads. In fact, to reduce the dust rate in the air, Government promised that a team will be formed to clean the dust from construction sites. The government stated that if anyone was found breaking the norms of NGT, they will be heavily punished or fined. 
However, despite everything done by the government, the images released by NASA towards the end of April show increased fires in Delhi-NCR. Also, in Haryana and Punjab, the figures are constantly increasing for crop burning. Despite the NGT Act by the government people, didn’t stop burning the residue crops. Lack of individual volunteering is to blame.
The quality of air in Delhi is recorded to be 943 AQI PM2.5 which is almost 15 times more than it is supposed to be according to the health limit set by the government. PM2.5 signifies tiny particles that run through air with the diameter of 2.5 or more.

Image Source: NASA 
On one hand, people are signing petitions against this stubble burning act and on the other hand there are people who are still carrying out the process without any fear of punishment and fine. Even, the farmers are angrily demanding for an alternate option to get rid of the residue crops. 
One of the petitioners Vikrant Togde noted that tribunal asked for explanations from the people who are still practicing the same activity. “We submitted photographs to the NGT which prompted the court to seek a compliance report from Punjab, Haryana, UP and Rajasthan on the action taken against erring farmers, fines levied on them and the subsidy that has to be given to farmers to tackle this situation,” as quoted by Indian Express.

The issue is bringing the country’s development to a standstill. Government has to come up with something that can relieve the farmers and can beautify the city while ensuring a healthy lifestyle of citizens.

Editor Bio - Ms Sahiba Sadana is a professional Content Editor and an avid literature reader. She is the Content Editor at Sharda University and a regular contributor to Business Town, and Munfarid Consulting.

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