Pollution: Bearing The Brunt

It might sound callous to calculate the costs of business disruption due to smog when people’s lives are in danger. However, the economic impact of the situation cannot be ignored.

While waking up in a gas chamber every day, takes a huge toll on the health of the citizens, it also robs the economy of significant growth potential, including welfare loss. In 2013, welfare costs and costs of lost labour due to air pollution resulted in an 8.5 per cent loss to India’s GDP. That was three years back. The levels of air pollution have swollen since then.

Though companies are yet to calculate the actual costs of disruption due to air pollution, an Assocham study estimates losses of Rs 100 crore a day to the National Capital Region (NCR) due to the smog. Several billions of dollars of new investments are also under threat. Read more

Courtesy: Business World

As Delhi dominates the airpocalypse narrative, the rest of India quietly chokes to death

In early 2015, the World Health Organisation released its annual Ambient Air Pollution Database, which catalogues levels of particulate matter (PM 2.5 and PM 10) across 91 countries and 1,600 cities, ranking them on the basis of annual average ambient concentration of both pollutants.

The database placed 13 Indian cities in the top 20 most polluted around the world, ranking Delhi first in terms of annual average concentration of PM2.5 – which is particulate matter less than 2.5 microns in diameter, or about 30 times finer than a human hair – the more harmful of the two pollutants. Read more

Courtesy: scroll.in

Delhi’s air quality likely to worsen because of dense fog; flight services disrupted

New Delhi: The national capital on Wednesday witnessed dense fog and the foggy conditions are expected to continue for the next several days.

“Shallow to moderate fog is very likely at isolated pockets over Punjab, Haryana, Chandigarh and Delhi, western Uttar Pradesh, Bihar, northern parts of West Bengal and moderate to dense fog at isolated places over eastern Uttar Pradesh, southern Assam, Meghalaya, Nagaland, Manipur, Mizoram and Tripura during 2­-3 days,” said a forecast by the India Meteorological Department (IMD) on Tuesday night. Read more

Courtesy: livemint.com

Let’s fight pollution: Smog over, but the battle against Delhi’s toxic air isn’t

In the first week of November this year, the capital’s 24-hour average air pollution — 900micrograms per cubic meter of particulate matter finer than 2.5 micrometers — was 40 times higher than the World Health Organisation (WHO) guidelines (25ug/m3) and around 15 times higher than the Indian standards (60ug/m3).

All segments of the city’s population — children, senior citizens, construction labourers, street workers, people who work from home as well as sportspersons — were affected by the envelop of smog. If confinement was a problem for children, senior citizens were particularly vulnerable to breathing ailments; if exposure was extremely high for construction workers, even those working from home were forced to take precautions; where street workers like auto drivers and vendors had no choice but to go out for daily bread and butter, sportspersons had to abandon their training schedules. Read more

Courtesy: hindustan times

What the government and the media didn’t say about air pollution in your city

Pollution levels were much higher than what was being displayed on public monitors in the city even as the government issued lukewarm “directives” to tackle the air apocalypse.

On 3 November, in response to the deteriorating situation in the capital and a public outcry against pollution, an emergency meeting was called by Union environment secretary A.N. Jha with the environment secretaries of five states—Punjab, Haryana, Uttar Pradesh, Delhi and Rajasthan. Reporters gathered outside the environment ministry that day were told at the end of the meeting that “strong action” had to be taken to combat the air apocalypse that had gripped the National Capital Region centred on Delhi. A slew of measures were announced—ranging from shutting down brick kilns, regulating the use of diesel gensets and ordering Delhi police to conduct a drive against polluting vehicles. Read more

Courtesy: live Mint