More likely? The Tuticorin protests against Sterlite may spread to other parts of India against other rampant polluters

AIR POLLUTION: ‘Delist Vedanta’ from London Stock Exchange; Air Pollution deaths mapped in 11 cities; New crop burning season

‘Delist Vedanta’ from London Stock Exchange, Shareholders listening?

13 people were killed in Tuticorin in Tamil Nadu after police opened fire on protesters demanding closure of a big copper smelter run by London-listed Vedanta. UK’s shadow chancellor said “the massacre meant Vedanta should be delisted from London Stock Exchange”. Experts blamed state-corporate nexus and urged shareholders to hold companies accountable for violating local environmental laws.

Vedanta has been accused of dumping copper slag in a river, causing air pollution, contaminating groundwater and a risk to fisheries. Shares for the company dropped by 11 percent after news of the incident. The state government has ordered permanent closure of the plant following the protests.

Air pollution deaths mapped in 11 cities

A study conducted in 11 north Indian cities says that annual premature deaths linked to air pollution range from 150-300 people per 1 lakh population.

Air pollution in UP, Bihar and Jharkhand have been increasing rapidly in the last 17 years. Kanpur recorded the highest number of premature deaths per year (4,173) due to air pollution, followed by Lucknow (4,127), Agra (2,421), Meerut (2,044), Varanasi (1,581), Allahabad (1,443) and Gorakhpur (914). Major contributors are residential sources like cooking with biomass and heating of building.

Ready for new season of crop burning?

At least 17 incidents of stubble burning were spotted in last 3 weeks in Punjab, between Ludhiana and Pathankot. Experts warn of smog build up over north Indian cities. Crop burning pattern has spread from Oct-Nov paddy harvest, to wheat harvests of April and May.

Pollution from coal plants ‘increases premature births’

Shutting down coal-and-oil fired plants reduces premature births in the surrounding areas, new study says. Scientists counted the number of preterm babies born around eight power plants before and after their closings from 2001 to 2011. Air pollution dropped after closing to an average of 4 tons of nitrogen oxides per year. The premature births decreased significantly near power plants after they closed.

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