Environmental News from India:
Deaths due to air pollution have sadly been far more than the deaths due to COVID. This menace has spared no one, neither the old nor the young, not even those in the pre-natal stage. A research project by the Harvard school of public health reveals that 15% of global COVID-19 deaths were linked to manmade pollution, particularly particulate matter with a diameter of less than 2.5 micrometres (PM 2.5).
Judged by new WHO standards, we have 10 times more pollutants of various grades in India, compared to developed countries. This is majorly due to our lifestyle. Indians are already known to suffer from 30% weaker lungs due to the polluted air we breathe. The issue of clean air, therefore, must assume as much significance, if not more, as the basic necessities of ‘roti’, ‘kapda’ aur ‘makaan’ and the millions of aspirational material belongings for which we crave. Whatever policies or laws the government may legislate – and it has already done so with respect to vehicles, construction, industrial emissions, green cover in the country, agro waste management and so on – it is amply clear that unless civic society makes it a grassroots movement, success in this domain will continue to elude us.
As a wake-up call, we must be aware that 51% pollution is emitted by our industries, 27% by vehicles, 17% by crop burning and 5% by fireworks. We can no longer afford to ignore this stark threat looming over us.
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Source: Economic Times