Patna tops the list of “India’s most polluted” this year, states a study conducted by IIT-Kanpur and Shakti Foundation. Kanpur and Varanasi also hold the higher spot and have put Delhi far behind. The study also should be seen as a wake-up call for India because it has revealed that India witnessed a rise in pollution by almost 50% than China this year. The study is made on a 45-day period data through October and November in 2018. Environmentalists also belive that though media headlines are not being topped by environmental issues, soon this could become an issue for the election as well as government.
Patna, Kanpur and Varanasi suffered from severe air quality while the study was being conducted. Particulate matter (PM) 2.5 levels hit 170 micrograms per cubic metre and above that can cause serious visibility and health problems in the general populace.
Bihar Environment Minister Sushil Modi said, “We have got the stats, and are worried about Patna. We have made an action plan for the capital city, and are trying to implement it. Brick kilns that do not conform to our norms have been banned. We have asked builders to cover structures under construction to ensure that the air is not further polluted, and asked for roads to be cleaned regularly.”
Dr S Tripathi of IIT Kanpur stated, “There are several sources of pollution in India, such as household fumes, solid fuel burning, power plant emissions and trash burning, which have turned out to be major contributors. We need to do something about this. It is a matter of great concern.”
“India should see the connection between pollution, climate change and health. Pollution is a particularly big problem in its cities. Secondly, they need to look at the long-term development pathway, and figure out how India can be turned into a zero carbon emitter in the future,” opined European Climate Foundation chief Executive officer Laurence Tubiana.
(Chart Courtesy: NDTV)