Air and water Pollution
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Indian Tier-II and Metro cities among the victims
According to Central Pollution Control Board, India’s large metro cities and 41 tier-II cities are facing high air and water pollution.
As per the findings of the Central Pollution Control Board (CPCB), metro cities and around 41 tier-II cities including Tezpur, Rishikesh, Vapi, Angul, Sangrur and Gajraula in India are victims of intense water and air pollution.
The CPCB found out that waste treatment capacity of the cities barely covers 10 pc of their sewage. The CPCB, along with State Pollution Control Boards (SPCBs), monitors the status of pollution in cities in India under the National Air Quality Monitoring Programme and National Water Quality Monitoring Programme, with a network of 612 stations and 2,500 locations, respectively.
“Analysis of data shows that 41 cities exceed the ambient air quality standard. In addition, these cities are also facing problem of water pollution due to discharges of untreated sewage,” said Union minister for environment, forests and climate change, Prakash Javadekar, in Parliament on April 26.
The government will spend INR 5.53 billion in five years to bring down the levels of pollution. While INR 0.7 billion is allocated for the abatement of pollution in 2016-17, the amount is anticipated to double to INR 1.5 billion in 2020-21.
According to CPCB estimates, the sewage generation from tier-II cities is 2,696.7 million litres per day, but their treatment capacity is not even 10 pc of the total sewage generated, leaving a wide gap of 2,463 million litres.
“Water quality monitoring indicates that the rivers are polluted in downstream of major urban centres due to large-scale water abstraction and discharge of untreated or partially treated waste water and not meeting the criteria,” Javadekar said.
The pollution emissions are generally from automobiles, suspended dust, construction activities, industrial emissions and disposal of untreated and partially treated sewage.
Some of the steps taken to curb pollution include the setting up of a monitoring network for the assessment of ambient air and water quality, introduction of cleaner fuels such as CNG (compressed natural gas), action plan for sewage management and restoration of water quality in aquatic resources, amendments to various waste management rules, ban on burning leaves, promotion of public transport networks such as metro rail, buses, e-rickshaws and the promotion of car-pooling, among others.
Without these steps of the state governments, the level of pollution would have been worse.
“These steps have contributed in reducing pollution in Indian cities. But for the various steps taken by central government, state governments and Union territories and other agencies, the level of pollution would have been worse,” Javadekar added.To View the article buy our magazine