Go Back   Team-BHP > Buckle Up > Street Experiences


Reply
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread
Old 10th December 2017, 21:24   #1
BHPian
 
AJ-got-BHP's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2014
Location: Calcutta
Posts: 636
Thanked: 2,665 Times
Default Pollution under control - Really? Wake up Kolkata to some Clean Air

Good Air, Bad Air, Clean Air and Polluted Air. All this discussion started to happen when we saw the Sri Lankan Cricketers wear those masks on the field in a Test Match in New Delhi. Ever since then, Delhi’s air quality has been in the news lately and raised a lot of concern not just within India but globally.

Kolkata's air pollution has not only touched Delhi, but has also surpassed it quite a few days - as reported by TOI earlier this year. Lancet Commission's report, that with 1.8 million deaths in 2015, India ranked No. 1 in air pollution related deaths. As per a Union government report more people died in Bengal from acute respiratory infection than in any other state.

Refer to the table below :
Name:  Pollution.jpg
Views: 1220
Size:  46.3 KB

We can see the glimpses of the problem in the health of our children who are the most effected and vulnerable to poor air quality. We see them falling ill much more than what we did in our younger years. Perpetual congestion, cough and frequent fever is the effect of the poor air quality that they are breathing in.

A video compiled by Kolkata Clean Air which is a community led initiative to combat the growing concern of kolkata air quality due to unplanned urbanization - traffic, construction, burning of waste etc. reflects the alarming situation that we have on hand :


Kolkata air pollution has a detrimental effect to the health of the citizens and many of its causes are also causes to problems such as mobility, citizens well being etc.

The transport sector is the largest cause of pollution and we need to work towards better emission control and also how we can reduce the harmful effects of especially the commercial diesel vehicles until they shift to cleaner sources of energy. This raises many questions like :
  • How soon will Euro VI Engines be seen on Indian Roads ?
  • If Delhi faces such critical issues in spite of their local public transports currently being running on CNG, all Public Transports in Kolkata are currently running on Diesel (barring the LPG Autos). Will there be a change anytime soon ? In what Way ?
  • What is the Government doing to counter these issues at the State Level and at the PAN India Level ?
  • What action needs to be taken by the PVD to determine the commercial fitness of such polluting vehicles ?
  • How about higher penalties and outright ban on Commercial Vehicles ageing over 10 Years in metropolitan cities ?
Quote:
An article from the Telegraph dated 10th of June 2016 :
More people died in Bengal from acute respiratory infection than in any other state every single year from 2009 to 2014, according to a Union government report.

Experts described the trend as a revelation, associating the deaths with rising air pollution, caused particularly by motor vehicles in Calcutta and surrounding areas.

Environmentalist Subhas Datta said: "I will call it the silent act of mass killing by the state." Despite the growing pollution, the state government has remained unmoved.

The report by the central bureau of health investigation under the Union health ministry says that of the 18,702 deaths from 2009 to 2014 from acute respiratory infection in the country, 3,821, or over 20 per cent, occurred in Bengal. Males accounted for around 65 per cent of the deaths and females for the rest.

Anumita Roy Choudhury, an air pollution expert, said the trend was consistent with the Centre for Science and Environment (CSE) finding that Calcuttans breathe in more poison than their counterparts anywhere else in the country.

Delhi, known as the country's air pollution capital, reported 1,338 deaths during the period. Uttar Pradesh, Andhra Pradesh and Odisha keep Bengal company as runners-up. "If the city does not reduce its air pollution quickly, the vulnerability will be even greater in the future," warned Roy Choudhury, who works with the CSE.

Calcutta also tops the lung cancer list, as reported in The Telegraph earlier.

State health department sources warned that the numbers, alarming as they are, could be worse.

"The report excludes data from many Calcutta-based government hospitals as they are yet to send them. We expect to start getting that data soon," said a health official. The official also pointed out that the number represented data only from government hospitals, and not private institutions.

Junior health minister Shashi Panja said: "I will not make any comment till I know the details, but I guess the environment department is looking into this."

Biswa Ranjan Satpathi, the DHS, too declined to comment without seeing the data. "We have to see whether other states are providing actual data or not," he said.

That could well be true. Besides, the numbers do not take into account the quality of hospital care available in each state - and it is no secret that Bengal is not exactly a leader in that area. Many patients travel to other states for treatment.

In spite of all this, however, pulmonologist Alok Gopal Ghoshal, director of the National Allergy, Asthma and Bronchitis Institute, said: "This (number) is a huge revelation for us....Apart from triggering a range of diseases from asthma to cancer, acute respiratory infection can directly kill a person. There is no doubt that most of these deaths have been occurring in urban areas triggered by extremely high air pollution."

Arunava Majumdar, a public health expert formerly associated with the All India Institute of Hygiene and Public Health, said the unusually high levels of fine and ultrafine particulates - PM 10 and PM 2.5 - from diesel exhaust were primarily responsible for deaths from respiratory infection.

"Although there have been deaths from indoor air pollution as well, the bulk are definitely due to the high level of fine particulates," Majumdar said.

He warned that even the high number the report had revealed was likely far less than the actual number of deaths as many went unrecorded or were passed off as caused by other diseases.
I would request the Forum Members to share their views, videos of polluting vehicles and relevant data that you might find fit to share so that this matter can be escalated to the concerned authorities in a compiled form for a better tomorrow.

Last edited by AJ-got-BHP : 10th December 2017 at 23:02. Reason: Changes
AJ-got-BHP is offline   (8) Thanks Reply With Quote
Old 11th December 2017, 09:38   #2
GTO
Team-BHP Support
 
GTO's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2004
Location: Bombay
Posts: 49,517
Thanked: 101,712 Times
Default Re: Pollution under control - Really? Wake up Kolkata to some Clean Air

Thread moved from the Assembly Line (The "Assembly Line" Forum section) to the Street Section. Thanks for sharing!
GTO is offline   (1) Thanks Reply With Quote
Old 11th December 2017, 10:07   #3
BANNED
 
Join Date: May 2010
Location: Singapore
Posts: 479
Thanked: 1,046 Times
Infractions: 0/1 (9)
Default Re: Pollution under control - Really? Wake up Kolkata to some Clean Air

Kolkata has many old and polluting buses. The JNNURM buses were not maintained and most of them have been decommisioned. The ones that ply are horridly maintained. You can see the road from some of the bus floors. The lobby of bus owners is very strong and resists every progressive move. They decommisioned the JNNURM buses citing poor fuel economy. I do not think that the bureaucrats have any intention of bringing in CNG anytime soon. The old buses coupled with ancient Ambassador taxis and an urban landscape devoid of greenery makes it really bad, especially in the congested areas. There have been a number of attempts to scrap the 15 year old vehicles but none have succeeded. To see the effect of pollution, you can look at the walls of the buildings on busy roads. So many of them have darkened due to the soot. Unfortunately, this has never been a serious issue for local leaders and is unlikely to be solved anytime soon.
Nissan1180 is offline   (4) Thanks Reply With Quote
Old 11th December 2017, 16:03   #4
BHPian
 
Samba's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2013
Location: Kolkata
Posts: 973
Thanked: 5,936 Times
Default Re: Pollution under control - Really? Wake up Kolkata to some Clean Air

Nice topic AJ.

Ill maintained commercial vehicles do a lot of value addition to air pollution. Specially in winter afternoon's the city is always covered with smog.

Few basic steps that can be taken to control air pollution-

Stricter emission checks and imposing hefty fines on the violators.

Shifting to EV's eventually, specially the public buses.

Stricter emission norms for factories and industries. They are equally responsible for air pollution. I have crossed places near few industries/factories where i have seen the air being polluted from those big chimneys.

There should be a better way to dispose waste products rather than disposing them to a open field. Just like we have the 'Dhapa' area beside Em Bypass and Belghoria express way. If one is passing beside these places, its filled with foul smell.

Last edited by Samba : 11th December 2017 at 16:06.
Samba is offline   (1) Thanks Reply With Quote
Old 11th December 2017, 16:34   #5
BANNED
 
Join Date: May 2010
Location: Singapore
Posts: 479
Thanked: 1,046 Times
Infractions: 0/1 (9)
Default Re: Pollution under control - Really? Wake up Kolkata to some Clean Air

Quote:
Originally Posted by Samba View Post

Stricter emission norms for factories and industries. They are equally responsible for air pollution. I have crossed places near few industries/factories where i have seen the air being polluted from those big chimneys.
This is a problem in most states which have an unorganized manufacturing sector. While pollution control devices are installed as a legal requirement, they are switched off at night when the possibility of a raid by PCB officials is remote. I stayed in a village near Hooghly for some time. There was a factory owned by the Birlas. Even they used to switch off the precipitators in the stacks at times to save costs, and the entire area got polluted with an acidic smog. After the Government installed an online monitoring system to ensure no one switches off the sewage treatment plant for water that was discharged to the Ganges, companies stopped doing it. I guess an online and trackable system to trace chimney outputs would curb the practice of discharging untreated smoke. Everything that happens within 100km of Kolkata affects the air quality.

If you drive on the Kalyani highway on a winter morning, you won't be able to see 10 feet ahead of you, such is the smog. In just 2 years I saw the problem worsen, but nobody cares. Delhi gets the attention because the measurement of air pollution is rigorous. In most semi-industrial small towns around big cities, the air quality is far more dangerous and no one talks about it because no one has measured it so far.
Nissan1180 is offline   (2) Thanks Reply With Quote
Old 11th December 2017, 17:02   #6
Distinguished - BHPian
 
smartcat's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2007
Location: Bangalore
Posts: 3,244
Thanked: 14,360 Times
Default Re: Pollution under control - Really? Wake up Kolkata to some Clean Air

I am no expert on air quality, but I have made a few observations based on data from an Android app called AIR VISUAL. This app collects data from different air quality recording stations in your city. Here are my observations -

1) I think dust is the biggest cause of drop in air quality.
2) In winter, the amount of dust in the air goes up because of low humidity. Notice how there is a fine coating of dust on your car in the morning (especially if it is parked outside). Vehicle movement in a dusty environment worsens the air quality.
3) Geography has a big role to play in air quality. If the city is windy, air quality will be better.
4) If it rains, air quality improves dramatically. For eg: Bangalore AQI (air quality index) usually hovers between 50 and 100. But when it rained last week, Bangalore's AQI was 15.
5) Cities in developed countries have good air quality - sure, but their cities are mostly dust free (because of their geography)

So based on my amateur observations: Want a clean city? Reduce dust on the roads!

1) Roads should be swept and dust removed. Water should be sprinkled ideally.
2) Construction activity should be done so that dust production is minimal. For eg: all construction sites should be covered with that blue tarpaulin cover.

Some screenshots from the AIR VISUAL app:

Pollution under control - Really? Wake up Kolkata to some Clean Air-screenshot_20171211164806.png

Pollution under control - Really? Wake up Kolkata to some Clean Air-screenshot_20171211165319.png

Pollution under control - Really? Wake up Kolkata to some Clean Air-screenshot_20171211164821.png

Pollution under control - Really? Wake up Kolkata to some Clean Air-screenshot_20171211165359.png

Pollution under control - Really? Wake up Kolkata to some Clean Air-screenshot_20171211165415.png

Last edited by smartcat : 11th December 2017 at 17:04.
smartcat is offline   (5) Thanks Reply With Quote
Old 12th December 2017, 16:29   #7
BHPian
 
AJ-got-BHP's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2014
Location: Calcutta
Posts: 636
Thanked: 2,665 Times
Default Re: Pollution under control - Really? Wake up Kolkata to some Clean Air

Quote:
Originally Posted by Samba View Post
Stricter emission checks and imposing hefty fines on the violators.

Shifting to EV's eventually, specially the public buses.
The PUC Dealers will have to pull up their socks and their performance will have to be monitored. They letting loose of the violators should attract penalties on them too.

Shifting to EVs is definitely an option. However, the capital cost required to set up an infra structure for the same is huge and knowing the kind of debt the WB Govt. already is in, it will be a herculean task for them to implement it.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Nissan1180 View Post
Delhi gets the attention because the measurement of air pollution is rigorous.
Agreed ! Delhi gets the attention as they are concerned about it and at least monitor it for their well being. Out here, no one monitors as no one is concerned.

Quote:
Originally Posted by smartcat View Post
I am no expert on air quality, but I have made a few observations based on data from an Android app called AIR VISUAL.
Very useful App must say. Thanks for sharing !! I just checked today and it showed that Kolkata was worse than Delhi today morning.

An alarming screenshot :
Pollution under control - Really? Wake up Kolkata to some Clean Air-img20171212wa0001.jpg

As we discuss on the subject matter, there was an article in the Newspaper on 11.12.2017 had something to say about EURO VI !

Sharing a photograph of the article :
Pollution under control - Really? Wake up Kolkata to some Clean Air-p_20171211_090527.jpg
AJ-got-BHP is offline   (3) Thanks Reply With Quote
Old 12th December 2017, 18:29   #8
Distinguished - BHPian
 
libranof1987's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2010
Location: All over!
Posts: 4,227
Thanked: 4,045 Times
Default Re: Pollution under control - Really? Wake up Kolkata to some Clean Air

The last few weeks have highlighted what a grim situation it is in Delhi. The crop burning and winter might be added factors but fact remains that the air in the Capital is horrible.

The air in the other metros isn't any better.

I hope we don't go the Shanghai way where industries were ordered shut for a few days just so there could be clear skies for an international summit.

Quote:
Originally Posted by AJ-got-BHP View Post
As we discuss on the subject matter, there was an article in the Newspaper on 11.12.2017 had something to say about EURO VI ! [/ATTACH]
When they say Delhi will get BS-VI fuel by April '18, I wonder if they mean just the fuel pumps within Delhi.

If so, this will be a useless exercise: it wouldn't an exaggeration when I say that everyone from Delhi potentially travels out of state to UP (Noida) or HR (Gurgaon) every day.

On 11-Dec, petrol in Delhi was 69.12, 69.07 in Gurgaon and 71.54 in Noida. Depending on how much more BS-VI costs, motorists will line up to Gurgaon, thus beating the whole purpose.

The Govt. should be proactive in making BS-VI compulsory in the metros at the earliest and Delhi NCR (not just Delhi).
libranof1987 is offline   (1) Thanks Reply With Quote
Old 13th December 2017, 17:04   #9
Senior - BHPian
 
Join Date: Jul 2008
Location: Bangalore
Posts: 2,057
Thanked: 420 Times
Default Re: Pollution under control - Really? Wake up Kolkata to some Clean Air

One of the easiest way would be to invert this PUC regimen , Instead of checking certificates which are often fudged, traffic police must be armed with a pollution check van and they can check the offending vehicle and impound if found polluting. I am sure cost of hiring a PUC van for a day can be recovered by fines imposed easily. Generally in other countries an independent agency such as EPA ( Environment protection agency) manned by scientists does the job of monitoring and measurement and adjudicating case is left to judiciary.

Unfortunately NGT was made too powerful in the law , It is an investigator ,prosecutor, judge , policymaker and executioner all rolled in to one which thinks they know everything under the sun.


The whole problem of pollution is Delhi is due to pretty low tech reasons which offend the constituencies which neither politicians not judiciary want to touch.

Banning cars or crackers is easier compared to forcing /fining garbage collectors not to burn garbage dumps or fixing potholes to avoid dust.

Also CNG is not some magical bullet if a CNG bus or taxi goes on broken road in bone dry Delhi it will raise dust cloud which adds to particulate matter.
amitk26 is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply


Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search


Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
Air pollution particles linked to Alzheimer's disease NPV Street Experiences 8 13th November 2017 11:15
PUC - Pollution Under Control ? faridsahmed Street Experiences 116 7th September 2017 23:56
Understanding PUC (Pollution under control) certificate readings shuvc Technical Stuff 43 10th May 2015 22:39
"Kolkata - Leh - Kolkata * Interested Kolkata TBHP Members. Captdey Route / Travel Queries 17 17th May 2010 23:48
Free Flow:Does it really cause noise pollution? speedsatya Technical Stuff 20 22nd January 2005 19:51


All times are GMT +5.5. The time now is 06:14.

Copyright 2000 - 2018, Team-BHP.com
Proudly powered by E2E Networks