- Reports of the Lancet Commission on pollution and health concluded that deaths in India occur mostly because of pollution.
Pollution in the context of India: a report:
- With 2.51 million deaths in 2015, India has been ranked No. 1 in pollution related deaths, according to a report by The Lancet Commission on pollution and health.
- India accounted for about 28 per cent of an estimated nine million pollution linked deaths worldwide in 2015.
- In the case of air pollution, the number of deaths in India from ambient air pollution is at the first place i.e. 1.09 million.
Effects of air pollution:
- Deaths from air pollution were a result of diseases such as heart disease, stroke, lung cancer, and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease.
- Pollution has been responsible for the most non-communicable disease deaths.
What is the Lancet Commission on pollution and health?
- The Lancet Commission on Pollution and Health is a two-year project that has involved more than 40 international health and environmental authors.
- The Lancet Commission on pollution and health addresses the health and economic costs of air, water, and soil pollution.
- Through analyses of existing and emerging data, the Commission reveals pollution’s severe and underreported contribution to the Global Burden of Disease.
- It uncovers the economic costs of pollution to low-income and middle-income countries.
- The Commission informs key decision makers around the world about the burden that pollution places on health and economic development, and about available cost-effective pollution control solutions and strategies.
What are the recent steps taken by government to reduce pollution in India?
- The National Green Tribunal has been established on 18.10.2010 under the National Green Tribunal Act 2010 for effective and expeditious disposal of cases relating to environmental protection and conservation of forests and other natural resources including enforcement of any legal right relating to environment and giving relief and compensation for damages to persons and property and for matters connected therewith or incidental thereto.
- Namami Gange Project: Under the project, the Government is planning to make the areas around the river Open Defecation Free and to achieve Zero Liquid Discharge into the river.
- Smart Cities Mission and AMRUT project: Under these, the Government is planning to achieve 100 per cent sewage collection and its treatment before being discharged in river.
- Promotion of renewable energy, enforcement of Renewable Purchase Obligations and Renewable Generation Obligations to increase the share of renewable energy in total generation capacity.
- The Government has decided to enforce Bharat Stage VI norms from 2020.
- Furthermore, the Ministry of Roadways has undertaken the project to plant trees along the all major highways.
What are measures to be taken?
- This Lancet Commission should inform policy makers and serve as a timely call to action.
- The country must prioritize pollution as an issue that affects all.
- Integrating pollution into health planning, and increasing funding to allow more research into pollution, such as monitoring pollution and its effects, and developing are some of the other ways to control pollution.
- Human activities, including industrialisation, urbanisation, and globalisation, are all drivers of pollution. Thus, strict legal initiatives actions are to be taken.