June 5 is celebrated as World Environment Day. This trend started in 1974, now which has grown to become a global platform for public outreach that is widely celebrated in more than 100 countries. Each World Environment Day is organized around a theme that focuses attention on a particularly pressing environmental concern. The theme for 2019, is “Beat Air Pollution,” is a call to action call to combat this global crisis.
There was massive increase in emissions of air pollutants after the Second World War due to industrial growth. Sulphur dioxide gas was emitted in huge quantity in the ambient air because of which there was acid rain in a large number of European countries and in North America in late 1960s.
Various scientific studies revealed the damage caused due to this acidification, especially in Scandinavian countries. There was fish loss in lakes, forest loss, and negative effects on human health. There was a call for international action to stop this. The first United Nations Conference on the Human Environment was held on June 5 1972, in Stockholm, Sweden, which urged the governments and UN organisations to undertake activities at the global level for preservation of the environment in the form of World Environment Day celebrations every year on June 5.
According to Central Pollution Control Board (CPCB), 102 cities in India are identified as polluted cities in terms of air pollution. Among these, 17 cities of Maharashtra are identified as polluted and Nagpur is one of them. Vehicles, open waste burning, construction and demolition activities, road dust etc are causes of Air Pollution in Nagpur.
Facts about Nagpur’s Air Pollution
Nagpur city has an area of 228 km 2 and road length of 3465 km. It is observed that on an average 59,000 new vehicles are registered every year in Nagpur. Two wheelers (68%) followed by light motor vehicles (17%) have a major share in total vehicle fleet. Around 36 lakh vehicles are on-road per day. Vehicles are estimated to be the major source of Nagpur’s air pollution. More use of personalized vehicles than public vehicles could be the reason.
Apart from vehicles, industries, open waste burning, construction and demolition activities, road dust, hotels and restaurants etc. are also contributing to air pollution. Existing and proposed vehicular control measures in Nagpur:
It is estimated that after Metro is operational there will be total on-road vehicle reduction of 56453 and hence will reduce the air pollution from these vehicles.
Introduction of e-taxis and e-rickshaws Presently 100 e-taxis and 65 e-rickshaws are running on Nagpur roads and estimated reduction in PM 2.5 Emissions is 18.25kg/yr as compared to petrol and diesel vehicles. Which are the things to be done for reducing air pollution for control of vehicular pollution.
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