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With the continuous exposure to air pollution, India is facing problems to a greater extent than ever. The air of India’s capital has turned into poison and set in motion a major public health disaster in the making. While this city may not be the worst the world has, or even India has but WHO has declared it in the top few cities. Also according to WHO, India is home to 13 of the top most polluted cities in the world.
The air pollution in India is so extensive that it causes over one million deaths a year and this would be the main point that is put across by the author. Sulphurous diesel smoke, PM10, PM2.5, indoor pollution by dung-fuelled fires are the reasons for so many deaths. The emission of gases into the air causes what is known as smog.
Smog consists of tiny particles, particle matter (PM) in the air includes a mixture of solids and liquid droplets. Some particles are emitted directly; others are formed in the atmosphere when other pollutants react. The smaller the particle, the more harmful it is. Beijing has a very high number of PM10 and the average age of death has reduced by more than 5 years there. Delhi has an even higher rate of PM10 as well as smaller particles, PM2.5. The smaller particles reach the deeper insides of the human body causing more problems.
A huge cause for some of these gases would be the low standard lorries that travel in and out of the cities and many such other vehicles that let out the diesel smoke. The vehicles which are in the top causes of pollution isn’t even known to have reached it full bloom. According to the article, only 5% of households are car owners. The industries are also a huge cause of the pollution, there are laws against a certain amount of emission of pollution that is allowed but these laws have not been enforced properly. The author thinks that the government should allow for financial penalties than criminal penalties.
The author uses statistics that are provided by the world health organisation, the assessment of cities around the world and also the graph of the amount of PM2.5 in the air, comparison between India and China. He gives us the point stated by a research associate of Chicago University, Michael Greenstone that China is a country facing problem due to pollution while the level of pollution in India is 45% higher than that of China. He also adds the input on china by a former UN chief negotiator on climate change, Yvo de Boe and also that he gives India the suggestion to industrialise in a cleaner way. The article also includes inputs from the environment minister of India, saying that pollution is and would now be measured properly and proper actions would be taken to protect the air and the people.
The after effects of pollution not only include health rate of Indians declining but it also decreases the wheat yielding by a third. While it is not mentioned in the article but the depletion of ozone has negative impacts on all crops; the release of black carbon and the ozone impact temperature, precipitation, radiation are directly toxic to plants.
The author of the article has taken inputs from many sources that are concerned with the pollution problems being caused in India but some views might be compromised. The Indian minister who assured that future precautions will be taken and they would be taking steps to measure properly but there is no guarantee and the author could not know. Personal inputs from officials do not always help as their statements could be manipulated. Also there is a requirement for more statistics to show the death rate of Indians and the declining age of death. A few terms like PM10 and also expand more on the “aggressive action” mentioned in the article.
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