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Current Affairs

WHO updated pollution norms

Date: 25 September 2021 Tags: Miscellaneous

Issue

 The World Health Organization has released new Air Quality norms. The newer standards have made India look more polluted.

 

Background

The existing norms were already said to be difficult for India to achieve and the updated ones would be debated and analysed.

 

Details

  • It looks like the newer standards are unlikely to be achieved for several years. The revised standards also indicate that risks due to air pollution is higher than estimated.

  • India’s condition will not improve even if concerted effort was initiated immediately. This is because of interdependence.

  • Air quality will not be good if the surrounding area is filthy and the quality of roads is not good. This is a clear indication of conflict.

  • To ensure that industry remains competitive in near terms, relaxations have been given. This has not resulted in improved show in quality of air.

 

Importance of government steps

  • Government has been undertaking many projects such as Swachch Bharat, Namami Gange, lake cleaning projects, building of expressways, Smart city mission, electric mobility mission etc that can give benefits on the long run.

  • This will not only focus on urban areas but also rural parts of the country. Till now, majority of our focus has been urban areas.

  • The Ujjwala scheme has been successful in migration towards LPG instead of traditional wood and dung cakes. This has cut household pollution consistently.

  • Indoor air pollution is increasingly becoming as deadly as outdoor pollution. The effects of such scheme would be a game changer.

 

Easily implementable steps

  • Air quality targets for cities will take years together to be achieved. There should be sustained focus on sectors that can give drastic improvements.

  • This includes construction sector, which is currently going on in full swing. Construction sites are full of dust as the site is not covered and debris is thrown in open.

  • The materials are transported uncovered and that release lot of harmful particles. The roads do not follow standard practices, due to sidewalks and road dividers.