Relevance : GS Paper III (Ecology & Environment)
[500 words reduced to 150]
- Air pollution has killed an estimated 1.24 million people in India in 2017.
- Extent of air pollution
- Millions face premature death
- PM2.5 is at 40 micrograms per cubic metre
- Paying greater attention to air quality can increase life expectancy by approx. 2 years in worst affected areas.
- Way forward
- Sustainable solutions for stubble-burning and use of solid fuels in households
- Ensure that the machinery to handle agricultural waste is in place and working in Punjab and Haryana
- A mechanism for rapid collection of farm residues has to be instituted.
- New approaches to recover value from biomass should be explored.
- The potential of domestic biogas units, solar cookers and improved biomass cookstoves has to be explored.
- India’s commitments under the Paris Agreement need to be modified.
- real-time measurement of pollution should be ensured.
- Rapid progress on clean air now depends on citizens making it a front-line political issue.