Millennium Post

Evade pollution, embrace mother Earth

In the wake of increasing air pollution JICA has been contributing to ease the air pollution through its various projects and activities, writes Puja Banerjee.

We live on Earth which is the only planet known to have an environment, where air and water are the two basic things sustaining life. Without air and water, Earth would be like the other planet – no man, no animals, no plants. The biosphere in which living beings have their sustenance has oxygen, nitrogen, carbon dioxide, argon and water vapour. All these are well balanced to ensure and help a healthy growth of life in the animal world. This balance does not only help the life-cycles of animals and plants, but also creates the perennial sources of minerals and energies without which the human civilisation of today could not be built. It is for this balance that the human life and other forms of existence have flourished on earth for so many thousands of years. Concerns have risen about air pollution in Indian cities in the recent past.

As for India, Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA) has been contributing to ease the air pollution through its various projects and activities, such as promotion of model shift, modernisation of older and inefficient facilities, introduction of advanced technology and also awareness improvement for citizens.
This can be a great opportunity to collaborate between Japan and India, especially after their collaborations with Delhi Metro, Power Sector, and Forestry Sector in the country. One needs to ensure appropriate government policies and actions to ease air pollution, and the Ministry of Environment of Japan will be happy to share the required knowledge and its experiences to improve the environmental conditions in India. The UN Conference on Human Environment was convened to study the profound changes in the relationship between man and his environment in the wake of modern scientific and technological developments. The World Health Organisation also set up an international network for the monitoring and study of air pollution on a global scale and for devising possible remedies.
The Government can at least see to the fact that future factories are set up at a distant place, an industrial complex far away from the township. Researchers may find out how to avoid harmful smoke emission from running vehicles. Deforestation should be stopped and afforestation must be encouraged. Discharge of factory wastes in rivers should be banned so as to make the river-water pollution free. Sewage or in all events, it can be disposed off in such a way as to prevent it from polluting the environment. Reducing the amount that one buys, reusing and repairing items wherever possible, and recycling as much as an individual can, will all help to reduce the amount of wastes dumped around us. Organic farming could be one solution for reducing environmental pollution levels.
We can very well notice the abnormal behaviour of the seasons – cycles developing clogs in the wheels; and the experts fear that the disturbed balance in the biosphere has assumed such serious proportion that very soon our world would be uninhabitable like Hiroshima of 1945. But it is heartening to find the entire world aware of the menace. Some of the advanced countries have already taken some measures to check the disaster. If we fail to restore the ecological balance right now, it would be too late.
With the dawn of the age of Science and Technology, there has been a huge growth and development of human potentials. And, it is here that man first began losing control and became prisoner of his own creations.

Efforts to be taken by academia, government institutes, local government, central Government
Introduce / modernise eco-friendly systems
Formulate appropriate policies and developing legal systems
Strengthen administrative organisation to ensure the effectiveness of air pollution control Research Institute
Monitor and analyse air pollution situation Private Sector
Enhance partnership for introduction / modernisation of eco-friendly technologies

Measures against air pollution sources
Measures to stationary sources (factories, power plants, waste incinerators) : Not only end-of-pipe technology but also comprehensive measures. e.g. Regulatory Management
Measures to mobile sources : Consider technology, regulations and economical measures by cooperation with concerned agencies (fuel/ road/traffic management, modal shift, etc) e.g. Delhi Metro, Converting to CNG, Ban of old diesel vehicles, Odd-even scheme
Measures to natural sources (road dust, open burning, fuel from domestic sector) : Regulatory control, etc. e.g. Ban of open burning
Contingency Plan for the emergency situation
Alert system for citizen, Regulation for industry sector, etc. using real time monitoring data. e.g. Graded Response Action Plan, CPCB, 2017
Preventive Measures
Land use plan, traffic plan considering air pollution sources.
Environment impact assessment for point sources.
Awareness raising activities such as environmental education

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