1. Tackling air pollution, what India can learn from neighbour China

Tackling air pollution, what India can learn from neighbour China

China, the world's largest exporter of goods has not only achieved excellence in manufacturing but also in other areas.

By: | New Delhi | Published: November 6, 2016 6:37 PM
mask-re-l Red alert were issued by the government in 2015 which meant closing down schools, factories and construction sites. Cars were ordered off the road till toxic levels dropped to below hazardous level. As a precaution, people were asked to wear masks. (Reuters Image)

China, the world’s largest exporter of goods has not only achieved excellence in manufacturing but also in other areas. With manufacturing comes by product such as air pollution and also water pollution as industrial wastes are often released through sewerage lines which eventually enters the rivers and seas thereby affecting the marine life as well.

China is known to achieve many milestones such as world’s fastest running train service and others. In 2013 the Chinese government introduced a slew of measures against pollution which are worthy for India to understand and implement. The national capital is already suffering a lot due to smog.

Red alert were issued by the government in 2015 which meant closing down schools, factories and construction sites. Cars were ordered off the road till toxic levels dropped to below hazardous level. As a precaution, people were asked to wear masks.

The Environmental Protection Law of China came into force in January 2015 which empowered the non-profit organisations and NGOs to file public interest lawsuits against polluters and that once found guilty there will be no cap in fines to be imposed on the pollutiion causing company. Local environmental protection bureaus can levy fines on a cumulative basis, leading to far higher penalties compared to earlier systems where polluters profited. Local governments will be held accountable for implementing environmental policies.

China created online air reporting system with hourly air pollution data from more than 1500 sites. These data included details of airborne particulate matter (PM), sulfur dioxide, nitrogen dioxide, carbon monoxide and ozone. The government regularly releases air quality rankings for cities.

Vehicles that were manufactured before the end of 2005 are to be discontinued by 2017. Beijing, Shanghai, Guangzhou and other large Chinese cities are slowly restricting the number of vehicles to curb pollution.

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