Industrial pollution poses a serious problem for our planet and the threat is particularly imminent for rapidly industrialising developing nations such as India and China.
Industrial waste has been recognised as a major cause of pollution globally and there is an urgent need to identify polluting industries and roll out policies to control their pollution. To put the problem in perspective, management of industrial pollution in developing economies poses several challenges as industrialisation is intricately linked to economic growth and employment generation. Often the environmental agencies are ill-equipped to handle polluting emissions and industrial by-products. of industries.
India and the world
Drawing on measurements and calculations, as of 2016, from air monitoring stations in 4,300 cities, the World Health Organisation (WHO) reported in March that Indian cities suffer the most. Kanpur with a population of three million tops the list with a yearly average of 319 micrograms per cubic metre of PM2.5, the most hazardous particle commonly measured.
The WHO does not treat its data as a ranking but rather as a measurement of risks. But it is clear from the report that India is one of the riskiest countries in the world to breathe along with Bangladesh and Georgia. When it comes to comparing PM10 measurements of the world’s largest cities, India’s capital Delhi comes with an annual average of 292, ahead of Cairo (284), Dhaka (147), Mumbai (104), and Beijing (92).
Over half of India's population – 660 million people – live in areas where the presence of fine particulate matter pollution is above India's recognised safety standards, said a study done by economists from the University of Chicago, Harvard and Yale and published recently in the ‘Economic & Political Weekly’.
Of the world’s top 20 polluted cities, 13 are in India compared to just three in China. Air pollution slashes life expectancy by 3.2 years for the 660 million Indians who live in cities, including Delhi. In China, the corresponding dip is marginally lower at three years.
Polluting industries in India
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Novembeb, 15-30, 2018