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WHO ranked Delhi the world's most polluted city

Discussion in 'World Affairs' started by siabuba, Dec 13, 2014.

  1. siabuba

    siabuba FULL MEMBER

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    Delhi air impurities far worse than level that won Indian capital 'world's most polluted city' title


    December 13, 2014 - 11:05AM

    Jason Koutsoukis

    South Asia correspondent at The Age and The Sydney Morning Herald

    View more articles from Jason Koutsoukis

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    A survey that found extreme air pollution in Delhi, including in the greenest area of the city, shocked the people who conducted it.
    Choked: Smog envelops buildings on the outskirts of Delhi.


    Delhi: When the World Health Organisation ranked Delhi the world's most polluted city this year, it did so using two-year-old figures provided by a local government agency.

    But the truth is much worse.


    According to a new study published by India's Centre for Science and Environment, Delhi air is so thick with killer particles that it poses a dangerous risk to the health of the capital region's 22 million residents.
    Unhealthy: Chemical foam from industrial effluents float on the River Yamuna in Delhi.

    Unhealthy: Chemical foam from industrial effluents float on the River Yamuna in Delhi. Photo: AP

    "We have found that daily personal exposure to toxic air is significantly higher than the background ambient air pollution that is monitored by the Delhi Pollution Control Committee," says the centre's director-general, Sunita Narain.

    To assess the content of the air people breathe as they move around the city, Ms Narain and CSE research director Anumita Roychowdhury convinced a group of prominent Delhiites to carry sophisticated air quality monitoring equipment as they conducted their daily routines.

    The pollutions levels they recorded shocked the authors of the study - and the participants - as they discovered they were being exposed to up to 12 times the level of killer particles that is deemed safe by the World Health Organisation.

    With the Delhi winter causing severe temperature inversion conditions during the night - where the cold night air acts as a dome trapping in the warmer city air - the study found that real-time pollution levels soared during the night, peaking in the early morning.

    One participant in the study was Bhure Lal, chairman of the Environment Pollution Authority, who lives in the heart of the greenest part of the city known as Lutyens Delhi, where he takes his morning power walk along with the rest of the city's elite in the lush Lodhi Gardens.

    While the WHO recommended daily standard for exposure to small particles is just 60 micrograms per cubic metre, Mr Lal discovered to his horror that the air he was breathing in the Lodhi Gardens on the morning of November 13 had 1195.83 micrograms of small particles per cubic metre.

    On the morning of November 23, asthma sufferer Avikal Somvanshi took an air quality monitor to the starting line of the Delhi half-marathon where 32,500 runners had gathered at the famous India Gate for the race.

    As the starting gun was fired, Mr Somvanshi's air monitor recorded small particle levels as high as 815 micrograms per cubic metre. As he followed the runners around the course, the particle levels rose to as high as 1050 micrograms per cubic metre.

    "I no longer go for a run in the morning," Ms Narain says. "It is simply not safe."

    William Bissell, the founder of Fabindia, a national furniture, homewares and clothing franchise, carried an air monitor on his morning walk on November 20 through another green area known as Jahanpanah Park, and recorded small particle levels of 705 micrograms per cubic metre.

    For comparison sake, the nearest official Delhi Pollution Control Committee monitoring station suggested there were only 308 micrograms of small particles per cubic metre - still a hazardous level that is more than five times the maximum daily exposure considered safe by the World Health Organisation.

    With more 1400 new cars on the road each day in Delhi, and the number of cars and trucks doubling over the last decade, Ms Narain says vehicle pollution, especially vehicles burning diesel fuel, are the main reason for the dangerously high levels of small particles.

    In a list of recommendations to the local authorities, the CSE recommended urgent action to control the pollution including introduction of more stringent vehicle emission standards, tax increases on diesel fuel to encourage motorists to switch to cleaner alternatives, strategies to clear the roads of older cars, and measures to reduce the number of vehicles entering the city each day.

    At 6am on Friday, Fairfax Media surveyed a number of power walkers at the elite - and heavily - polluted Lodhi Gardens.

    Among them was Vipul Jhalani, 51, who has taken a morning walk through the Lodhi Gardens every day for the last 15 years.

    "The figures must be wrong," Mr Jhalani said. "At least, I hope they're wrong."

    With a 2012 epidemiological study that surveyed nearly 12,000 children from 36 schools across Delhi finding that every third child has reduced lung function, Mr Jhalani admitted that he was very concerned about the health affects of bad air.

    But one walker who didn't seem at all surprised by the findings of the CSE study was an unassuming man who introduced himself as Jairam Ramesh.

    Instead of answering questions, Mr Ramesh starting volunteering solutions.

    Asked what his occupation was, Mr Ramesh said: "Actually I was environment minister in the former government led by Prime Minister Manmohan Singh."

    Still a member of parliament, Mr Ramesh acknowledged that the situation was urgent.

    "We have to take action. Collectively. Our lives depend on it. We have no other choice."
     
    Last edited: Dec 13, 2014
  2. qwerrty

    qwerrty SENIOR MEMBER

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    this is far worse than the number 1 title that they won according to the article. india shining bright :D
     
  3. Chinese-Dragon

    Chinese-Dragon PDF THINK TANK: ANALYST

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    India the country actually has the most toxic air in the whole world, surprising since they always like to mock China regarding pollution, which we admit is a big problem and something we are trying to fix.

    India has the most toxic air in the world - The Hindu

    It is official: India has the world's most toxic air.

    In a study by Yale and Columbia Universities, India holds the very last rank among 132 nations in terms of air quality with regard to its effect on human health.


    [​IMG]

    Now don't say the Environmental Performance Index, done by Yale and Columbia Universities, is on the CCP payroll.

    Or even the WHO itself.
     
  4. qwerrty

    qwerrty SENIOR MEMBER

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    they are not even industrialized. i can't imagine when they become one in the future :cheesy:
     
  5. AgentOrange

    AgentOrange FULL MEMBER

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    How is India so bad? I mean China has factories that run 24/7 and a huge manufacturing base. But at least China got economic growth, infrastructure, and rising human development rankings for all of its bad air. Meanwhile India has polluted air and an economy smaller than that of Italy. What the hell is India doing? Apparently open defecation is worse for air quality than being the world's factory. :whistle:
     
    Last edited: Dec 14, 2014
  6. opruh

    opruh FULL MEMBER

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    Finally, India is no.1 congratulations!
     
  7. Chinese-Dragon

    Chinese-Dragon PDF THINK TANK: ANALYST

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    When India eventually tries to industrialize (their new government is very pro-domestic manufacturing), their pollution levels are going to go through the roof.

    They already have the most toxic air in the world, and they haven't even indutrialized yet.

    China on the other hand is making a big move away from coal, to cleaner burning fuels like gas. Hence the enormous natural gas pipeline deal with Russia (and the existing ones with Central Asia).

    It will be good when we can eventually harness our Shale gas reserves, the largest in the world by far.
     
  8. AgentOrange

    AgentOrange FULL MEMBER

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    That's a picture of hell on earth. Wading through rivers of human fecal matter at ground level while the air above you is a dark cancerous cloud. India Shining indeed. :agree:
     
  9. karan21

    karan21 SENIOR MEMBER

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    Yes India is not as industrialized as China or western nations. But over all size of Indian industry is pretty big(7 or 8th in the world.)

    India is the world's 3rd largest producer of Power, 2nd largest producer of power equipment, can build warships, fighter planes. 4th or 5th largest producer of cars. 2nd largest producer of trucks and tractors. We build very thing from nuclear plants to Rockets that can carry over 10 tonnes to space. These are things which only countries that have decent industrial sector can do.

    Yes you are right in terms of per capita industrialization, India still has a long way to go and the environment will pay a price for that. I don't think the current Indian government cares about environment. The current Indian government isn't too worried about that.
     
  10. Chinese-Dragon

    Chinese-Dragon PDF THINK TANK: ANALYST

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    Industrialization is more of a per capita thing, that's why China is still a "developing country".

    We are still in the middle of our development process.
     
  11. Icewolf

    Icewolf ELITE MEMBER

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    Damn... India is not even industrialized and they still have worlds dirtiest air... Serious pollution regulations must be put on Indian factories or India will be another Venus... Even with 0.1% industrial growth
     
  12. karan21

    karan21 SENIOR MEMBER

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    Yes exactly, India has been able to build up a decent industrial sector but that has been built focusing on domestic demand. The current government wants to expand industry while focusing on the foreign demand. Something that China, Japan and most east asian nations have done.

    Anyways the thread is about air. The industrial pollution shouldn't impact Delhi too much because there are not a lot industries in and around Delhi. Most pollution in Delhi comes from automobiles. Government must do something to improve that.
     
  13. American_Millenium

    American_Millenium FULL MEMBER

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    India has the potential of being one of the worst countries in the future, comparatively speaking (worse than it already is now).

    One of the largest population densities (7th) in the world, coupled with among the least developed nations in the world, coupled with a really strong (but half-assed) attempt at industrialization (hence all the pollution).

    And they have very little in natural resources. They also have the misfortune of being Indian and not African, which means that all the White guilt directed at those "poor Black people" that leads to hundreds of billions of dollars and health workers being sent by Western nations every year, don't usually end up in India. This is even though India is at the same level of development as these nations.

    I have a bad feeling about this.
     
  14. Sneaker

    Sneaker FULL MEMBER

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    So they measured pollution levels in Delhi and said India is bad? Or did they do it in other areas as well?
     
  15. karan21

    karan21 SENIOR MEMBER

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    At the same time we also have the potential to be the greatest nation on planet earth.
    We have previously rejected the guilt money from Britain and will do the same in future. I have a good feeling about India and we in India have no regard for feelings of Americans.