Air pollution

Gasping for breath

Print edition : December 08, 2017
The country’s air pollution problem is going from bad to worse owing to the high usage of coal for generating power and the rise in the number of vehicles.

The recent severe smog problem in New Delhi, caused by crop burning in neighbouring States, has once again put the spotlight on the dangerous levels of air pollution in the city and also turned the nation’s focus on the extent of air pollution nationwide.

A report put out by The Lancet, one of the world’s most respected general medical journals, stated that outdoor air pollution was responsible for 6 per cent of the “total disease burden in India in 2016”.

According to Swaniti, a non-profit initiative, as of January 2015 coal-powered thermal power plants accounted for nearly 61 per cent of India’s total power generation, while private and commercial vehicles accounted for more than 66 per cent of the total consumption of diesel. Also, as per Census 2011, 87 per cent of rural households and 26 per cent of urban households depend on biomass for cooking. These are the three main causes of air pollution in the country.

The WHO estimates that over four million people die prematurely worldwide from illness attributable to household air pollution from cooking with solid fuels.

India is also among the worst performers worldwide in the area of ambient air pollution, which is measured in terms of PM2.5 concentration in the air.

A letter from the Editor


Dear reader,

The COVID-19-induced lockdown and the absolute necessity for human beings to maintain a physical distance from one another in order to contain the pandemic has changed our lives in unimaginable ways. The print medium all over the world is no exception.

As the distribution of printed copies is unlikely to resume any time soon, Frontline will come to you only through the digital platform until the return of normality. The resources needed to keep up the good work that Frontline has been doing for the past 35 years and more are immense. It is a long journey indeed. Readers who have been part of this journey are our source of strength.

Subscribing to the online edition, I am confident, will make it mutually beneficial.

Sincerely,

R. Vijaya Sankar

Editor, Frontline

Support Quality Journalism

MEDIA

This article is closed for comments.
Please Email the Editor
×