Skip to main content

Indian cities don't have "smart" targets to reduce pollution, 80% fail to meet national standards: Greenpeace

By Our Representative
A recent report by international NGO Greenpeace has said that, out of 280 Indian cities for which it obtained data to assess air pollution levels, as many as 228, or 80%, are found to be not complying with the National Ambient Air Quality Standards (NAAQS), as prescribed by the Central Pollution Control Board (CPCB).
Defined as µg/m3 – suggesting the concentration of an air pollutant in micrograms (one-millionth of a gram) per cubic meter air – these cities, says the report, do not complying with “the NAAQS standard of 60 µg/m³, as prescribed by CPCB for annual permissible levels.” Notably, the World Health Organization’s annual standards are 20 µg/m³.
Titled “Airpocalypse II: Assessment of Air Pollution in Indian Cities”, the report, says that Delhi “still remains the top-most polluted city, and is closely followed by many more towns like nearby Faridabad and Bhiwadi and far off Dehradun, Varanasi, and Patna”, all of which are "5 strewn along the fertile and heavily populated Indo-Gangetic basin”.
However, it adds, “The emphasis so far has more been on the Delhi-NCR region”, despite the fact that the “major part of Delhi’s pollution is coming from outside its borders, meaning neighbouring states”, which “cannot said to be in the safe zone.”
The report, published at a time when the Government of India is pushing hard to make them "smart", regrets, except for Delhi-NCR, “None of the cities/states have measurable targets aimed at reducing pollution levels”, adding, “Most actions suggested until now are just initiatives on paper that have no monitoring mechanism to achieve their estimated benefit through the implementation of targeted policies.”
Thus, while for Delhi-NCR a Graded Response Action Plan (GRAP) has come into force, in Lucknow is the only other city which has copied it, but only on paper. “Its implementation still seems to be a distant dream), no other city seems to be taking any action of any worth against the polluters”, the report notes.
Pointing out that pollution levels in other states like Uttar Pradesh, Bihar, West Bengal, Karnataka, Tamil Nadu and Maharashtra “are also increasing quite a bit”, the report says, “Out of the 630 million Indians covered by the data, 550 million live in areas exceeding national standard, and 180 million live in areas where the air pollution levels are more than twice the stipulated standards.”
“This includes 47 million children under 5 years of age, living in areas where the standard is exceeded and 17 million in areas where the air pollution levels are more than twice the stipulated standards”, the report states.
“The largest numbers of people in areas with more than twice the stipulated levels of pollution are in Uttar Pradesh (64 million), followed by Rajasthan (20 million), Maharashtra (19 million), Delhi (17 million) and Bihar (15 million)”, notes the report.
It adds, “The most are children under 5 years of age, living in areas where the standard is exceeded more than twice are also in Uttar Pradesh (6.3 million) and Rajasthan (2.1 million), followed by Bihar (1.7 million), Maharashtra (1.4 million) and Delhi (1.4 million).”
What is of equal concern, says the report, is the fact that “580 million Indians live in districts with no air quality data available, including 59 million children under 5 years of age”, adding, “Real time data is available for only 190 million Indians, or 16% of the population.”
At the same time, the report notes, “Unlike in the North many cities in the southern part of the country may not need emergency response plans but most of them do need long term action plans to bring pollution levels down below NAAQS limits and aim to meet WHO standards for air quality.”

Comments

TRENDING

Missed call drive for VVPAT verification follows online plea to "pressure" poll panel

By Our Representative
Several political activists have begun a new campaign, asking concerned citizens to give a missed call on 9667655855 to “support the demand that 2019 Loksabha elections must be declared only after verification of 50% electronic voting machines (EVMs) with Voter Verifiable Paper Audit Trail (VVPAT) receipts.” The effort, supported by civil society networks across India, is meant to "further pressure" India's election machinery to ensure that the poll outcome becomes more transparent.

Now, top Gujarat "litterateur" close to Modi says: Godse was patriot, so was Gandhi

By Rajiv Shah
A little over a week after Prime Minister Narendra Modi criticized BJP candidate from Bhopal Pragya Thakur for calling Nathuram Godse a patriot saying he would never forgive her for the remark, a top Sangh Parivar ideologue, known to close to Modi in Gujarat, has supported her, saying her statement should be seen “within a context.” Thakur won from Bhopal by more than 3.5 lakh votes defeating her nearest rival, veteran Congressman and ex-Madhya Pradesh chief minister Digvijay Singh.

Opposition refuses to legally challenge EVMs amidst plans of "back to ballot" protest

Counterview Desk
Even as opposition to the use of electronic voting machines (EVMs) allegedly to rig polls is growing, a group of prominent citizens who have come together to form the EVM Virodhi Rashtriya Jan Andolan has controversially called for a national protest against EVMs on May 30, demanding future elections should be held only on ballot paper.

When a Pak scribe said Modi has 'proved' Jinnah’s two nation theory right...

By Zafar Agha*
It was around nine in the morning on May 24, 2019, a day after Prime Minister Narendra Modi stormed the Lok Sabha with 300-plus MPs. It was a call from a journalist friend, Muzamal Suhrawardy, from Lahore, Pakistan. I ignored the call. We liberals had a depressing day the previous evening as the opposition to Modi and BJP collapsed. The results belied reports from the ground and even assessments made by colleagues.

It's now official: Akshay Kumar has not been conferred honorary Canadian citizenship

By Our Representative
It is now official. Super-star Akshay Kumar has not been conferred any honorary citizenship by Canadian authorities, as claimed by him ahead of the 2019 elections. In reply to a query by Roshan Shah, who is a Canadian citizen living in Waterloo, Ontario, and belongs to Ahmedabad, the country’s authorities dealing with issues related with immigration, refugees and citizenship in Canada have said that only six persons have so far been granted honorary citizenship.

Savarkar in Ahmedabad "declared support" to two-nation theory in 1937, followed by Jinnah three years later

By Our Representative
One of the top freedom fighters whom BJP and Prime Minister Narendra Modi revere the most, Vinayak Damodar Savarkar, was also a great supporter of the two nation theory for India, one for Hindus another for Muslims, claims a new expose on the man who is also known to be the original proponent of the concept of Hindutva.

If EC's credibility is under question, shouldn't one "assume" EVMs might be tampered?

Counterview Desk
Gauhar Raza, scientist, documentary film maker and poet; senior human rights activist Shabnam Hashmi of the Act Now for Harmony and Democracy (ANHAD); military veteran Major Priyadarshi Chowdhury (retd); and Sucheta De and Sandeep Saurav of the All India Students' Association (AISA), have asked “individuals, organisations and people's movements” to send their endorsement to an appeal they have prepared on Electronic Voting Machine (EVM).

Govt of India overestimated GDP by 2.5%, must restore reputational damage: Ex-CEA

By Rajiv Shah
Top economist Arvind Subramanian has said that changes brought about by the Government of India in data sources and methodology for estimating the country’s gross domestic product (GDP) since 2011-12 “has led to a significant overestimation of growth”. While official estimates place annual average GDP growth between 2011-12 and 2016-17 at about 7 percent, the actual growth may have been 4½ percent, ranging from 3 ½ to 5 ½ percent during the period, he adds.

Common thread of Modi, political Hinduism, nationalism? 'Contest' of ideas isn't over

By Salman Khurshid*
Losing the 2019 election and that too in a somewhat extreme manner has confronted us with unexpected challenges: Our leadership has naturally taken it very hard and to heart but with suggested options that we cannot imagine or contemplate. Hopefully the emotions will settle soon and give us the direction to pick up the pieces and march again.

Will minorities in India be 2nd class citizens? Wake up call: Be a 'communicating' Church

By Fr Cedric Prakash sj*
India today is at a defining moment of her history. There is so much that has taken place in the past five years (and particularly in the last ten days)- that several citizens of the country are genuinely concerned about the future of the country! Will democracy survive? Will key elements of the Constitution be changed?