Pollution is described as the deliberate or unintentional addition of toxic substances to the environment, which makes the surroundings unfit or reduces the quality of the air for the survival of human beings and animals. The existence of compounds in the surrounding that damage human and other living organisms’ health or damage the climate or materials is referred to as air pollution. Gases like carbon monoxide, ammonia, nitrous oxides, sulphur dioxide, carbon dioxide, chlorofluorocarbons, and methane, both inorganic and organic particles and living molecules, are examples of air pollution. Today, there are tons of Indian government initiatives in place to help reduce the effect of pollution. But before we get into that, let’s understand what is air pollution?
What is Air Pollution?
The introduction of contaminants, organic molecules, or other hazardous chemicals into the Earth’s atmosphere is air pollution. This can take the form of surplus gases like CO2 and other vapours that aren’t adequately eliminated by natural cycles, like the carbon or nitrogen cycles. Air pollution can cause various health disorders and even death in humans. It can also harm other living species like food crops and animals and disrupt the natural and artificial environments. Both human activities and natural phenomena can cause air pollution. Nationally and internationally, legislation, and regulation have been implemented to limit the effects of air pollution. To reduce air pollution, a variety of pollution prevention technologies, tactics, and Indian government initiatives are available.
What is the Indian government’s initiative to reduce air pollution?
National Clean Air Programme
The national clean air programme is one of the long-term and time-bound Indian government initiatives to address the country’s growing air pollution problem comprehensively. The estimated cost of the NCAP is INR 637 crore. The goal is to create a comprehensive management strategy for air pollution prevention, control, and reduction and expand the air quality monitoring network throughout the country.
The focus of this initiative is to:
- Coordination between key central ministries, state governments, local entities, and other stakeholders, and a collaborative and participatory strategy covering all sources of pollution.
- Intensive public awareness, training, and capacity-building efforts, with a focus on increasing the Central Pollution Control Board’s (CPCB) and state pollution control boards’ workforce and infrastructure (SPCBs).
- It must be ensured that a reliable, transparent, and accountable data gathering and monitoring system is accessible for immediate and rapid response.
- Expanding the number of monitoring stations, disseminating data, and including the public in planning and implementation.
- Establishment of an air information centre for data analysis, resource allocation studies, national inventories, and rural monitoring stations, as well as indoor air pollution guidelines.
The Central Pollution Control Board (CPCB)
- It is an organisation run by the government to control air pollution and reports to the Ministry of Environment, Forestry, and Climate Change (Mo.E.F.C).
- The Water (Prevention and Control of Pollution) Act was established in 1974.
- It also has powers and responsibilities under the Air (Prevention and Control of Pollution) Act of 1981.
- Under the Environment (Protection) Act of 1986, it provides technical assistance to the Ministry of Environment and Forests.
- It helps the State Pollution Control Boards coordinate their actions by providing technical advice and resolving disputes between them.
- It is the country’s highest-ranking organisation in the subject of pollution control.
10 ways to reduce air pollution
Here are the top 10 ways to reduce air pollution:
- Use public transport or carpooling as it will reduce the consumption of electricity or petrol. It will also help you in saving your money.
- Reducing the use of electrical energy can help the environment as light energy also contributes to air pollution.
- The three “R’s,” i.e., reduce, reuse, and recycle, can also help in reducing air pollution. Apart from this, the recycled objects also consume less energy for the manufacture.
- Reduction of the plastic material can also help in saving the environment as the plastic materials take more time to degenerate in the environment.
- One of the major reasons behind the seasonal air pollution is the burning down of the dry leaves of the seasonal crop. It is also one of the major contributors to smog.
- Air conditioners release heat and CFC, which is dangerous to the ecosystem. Limiting the usage of AC also helps in reducing global warming and pollution.
In the above chapter, we have read about the various Indian government initiatives to control air pollution. Nowadays, air pollution is one of the major concerns in the world. The discharge of various gases, finely divided particles, or finely scattered liquid aerosols into the atmosphere at rates that exceed the natural ability of the environment to dissipate, dilute, or absorb them is referred to as air pollution. These compounds may reach airborne concentrations that have adverse health, economic, or aesthetic consequences.