The Regional Press: Uttar Pradesh
Critically polluted, but “missing” from National Clean Air Plan
Campaigners have demanded to include “critically polluted” regions including Singrauli in National Clean Air Plan, Hindustan reported. Experts said national plans and surveys cater to big cities alone.
The recent WHO rankings, based on available monitoring data, didn’t include Singrauli. Experts say India has 43 critically polluted zones for which little or no data is available in the public domain. Bordering MP and UP the region produces over 22GW coal-fired electricity per day.
India rated worst in WHO pollution report; Govt. calls report “inaccurate”; National Clean Air Plan “lacks urgency”; Expect “worst” with better monitoring
North India’s bad air is back in headlines. WHO released global data (4,300 cities) of polluted cities: top 12 in India. Experts said the huge valley of north India traps foul air, mostly from transport, waste burning and cooking fuel. No South Indian city figured in the WHO list. Centre said WHO’s 2016 data doesn’t reflect the true picture which improved post 2017 norms. Experts say new rules are good but limited to big cities, lack clear targets and are contradicted by Centre itself. Reports will “appear worse” before they get better as monitoring is improved.
The WHO findings have led experts to reassess the National Clean Air Plan (NCAP). Experts say there’s plenty of data, but NCPA lacks urgency in implementation and Centre and states “are in denial” when it comes to air pollution
Govt plans to propose petcoke ban; Bad air “increases crime rate”
Centre plans to propose country-wide ban on petcoke as fuel following the top court ban on burning petcoke in and around Delhi. Petcoke is a petroleum byproduct used as fuel, with large CO2 and SO2 emissions that can cause lung disease and acid rain.
New LSE research says crimes including shop-lifting and pickpocketing rose with air pollution in London. However, it didn’t have a significant impact on serious crimes of murder and rape.