India’s Pollution: On the Brink of an Environmental Catastrophe

People may be driven by their materialistic goals to mostly ignore the environmental disaster. The hype around the policy to curb pollution keep its pace for a short duration but it dies down quicker than expected. More promises and fewer actions are delivered.
However, people should realize that the crisis is real as ever. The worsening of the environmental condition won’t come to cease overnight or by magically. The political blame games are definitely not a solution for the crisis.

An important cliché that needs to be considered repeatedly: The capital city Delhi has been ranked as the most polluted megacity in the world numerous times over the years. But 13 more India’s cities were listed in the rank of top 20 global cities that have reached alarming heights of air pollution in terms of PM 2.5 concentration. Meaning, the pollution is not caused single-handedly neither the reducing of pollution can be done singlehandedly. After such alarming rankings, there should have been and there should be a major war on pollution. But all we see to date is pollution in India making headlines. While certain cities are critically and severely polluted, other cities are moderately polluted. The current environmental calamity is not just a regional problem but it’s an alarm for the Nation. This needs to be tackled with a joint effort by policymakers and all other people from all over the country.

The capital city is facing the severity of air pollution. We have seen the city engulfed in heavy smog since November 2018. Also, it isn’t the first time that it happened. It has been an issue for far too long now. Not only Delhi but India as a whole is facing some major environmental issues like:

  • Most urbanized cities in India are prone to toxic air. It affects people’s health and the ratio of death due to air pollution is rising. According to report by WHO, toxic air in India was the reason behind close to 1,10,000 premature deaths of children in 2016.
  • Rapid deforestation in recent years, primarily due to its focus on economic development. India couldn’t keep its target of 33 percent forest cover. Yet economists have said that significant proportion of the population is still not reaping the benefits of economic growth.
  • A flawed system of waste disposal and management.
  • Water Scarcity:
    Water scarcity involves water stress, water shortage or deficits, and water crisis. This may be due to both nature and humans. Main factors that contribute to this issue include poor management of resources, lack of government attention, and man-made waste.

    The water crisis is another crisis in India which made headlines in 2018 in major newspapers. One report revealed that almost 23% of girls in India drop out of school on reaching puberty due to a lack of water and sanitation facilities.
    The reason for this water scarcity is known to have been caused due to unsustainable water consumption, unscientific ways of managing water supply and water pollution.
  • Water pollution is on rise. Rivers are turning into flowing drain. It is reported that unchecked pollution has turned thousands of water sources into bodies of filth and disease.

All kinds of pollution are engulfing the places in India. Yet all we read about in the newspaper till date is about the entire crisis and very less about the actions are taken on pollution control.

In fact there is so much India can learn from other countries. For that matter, very recently China has efficiently reduced its notorious air pollution. It is possible to really declare war on pollution, even without hurting the country’s economy. This is one crucial time when the government needs to take serious actions and not just make promises. Although some state has diligently implemented its policy on reducing pollution, most of the other states in India are still struggling and facing this deadly pollution. People have to understand the risk brought by the current situation.
The environmental disaster is having deadly impact on people. Activists and health specialists across India are making efforts to create awareness and urging policymakers to adopt strict policies to tackle the pollution crisis. Yet no major actions were taken considering the magnitude of the problem.
Environmentalists are of the view that despite the red flag by Greenpeace, it is highly unlikely that the government will take any strict action on it.

Citing India Today: There is a need for “public outrage” to press governments into action and make them adopt policies to mitigate climate change and treat air pollution as a medical emergency, said Christiana Figueres, the former UN official responsible for the 2015 Paris Climate Agreement.

 

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