India’s power ambitions mean air pollution to soar

World Today

Delhi is covered with smog at any time of the day. A drop in temperatures makes polluted air heavy, triggering illnesses.

India’s power ambitions mean air pollution to soar

Delhi is covered with smog at any time of the day. A drop in temperatures makes polluted air heavy, triggering illnesses.

“When the wind blows the ash blows with it,” a resident of Jaitpur Diwan Dutt said. “People have a tough time breathing and many develop diseases related to breathing. People start coughing.”

Government figures show that in Delhi more than 40 people die of respiratory diseases everyday. Children are worst affected. The government is not equipped to deal with the rising air pollution and so children like Jatin find their own solution.

“I am covering my face because of the dust which bothers me and I fall ill,” Jatin said.

During a public interest litigation on air pollution at India’s Supreme Court, the judge allowed a monitoring machine to measure the pollution inside the courtroom. The results were four times higher than normal.

The government is taking measures to tackle air pollution.

“We will ensure quick action there after to get coal production significantly enhanced and to meet our government’s target of one billion tonnes coal by 2019 to ensure that every power plant in this country gets adequate coal,” minister of state for power Piyush Goyal said.

Digging deeper for coal is on a war footing. Experts feared that this coal rush would derail the climate change agenda, saying that India needs a two-track strategy that would be beneficial for both public health and climate change mitigation.