Letters to the editor

By: | Published: July 11, 2016 1:16 AM

The rising cost of pollution

The rising cost of pollution
A recent study conducted by the  Indian Institute of Tropical Meteorology, Pune, in collaboration with the National Centre for Atmospheric Research, Colorado (the US) has revealed that air pollution caused by pollutants like PM2.5 and ozone(O3) reduced the life expectancy of Indians by an average of 3.4 years—of those living in Delhi, by 6 years! This calls for urgent measures for redressal. By 2030, India aims to reduce its emission intensity by 35% of the 2005 levels and make renewable energy 40% of the total energy-share. Efforts towards achieving this must be expedited by strengthening the public transport system, promoting car-pooling, cycling, electric/hybrid and CNG automobiles, producing Bharat-VI grade of fuel, while switching to solar, wind power, biofuels and biomass, etc. Failure to do so may cost the country heavy; as per a 2013 study by World Bank study, environmental degradation costs India 5.7% of its GDP each year, mainly due to the diseases caused by the fumes from fossil fuels and outdoor pollution. This shows that our much-vaunted GDP hides a cost. It reminds me of what late US senator Robert F Kennedy had said in 1968 about America : “Our Gross National Product counts air pollution and cigarette advertising, and ambulances to clear our highways of carnage… it measures everything in short, except that which makes “life worthwhile”.What is the use of singing “sujalaam, suphalaam, malayaja sheetalaam, sasya syamalaam…” when the very natural resources are allowed to be badly polluted.
CV Krishna Manoj

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