Choked by smog: on air pollution

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Choked by smog: on air pollution

Urgent correctives are needed, or lethal winter pollution will become the new normal
Air pollution is choking(चकित कर/घुट) several cities in the northern States once again, as changes in temperature and slowing winds trap(जाल/फँसाना) soot, dust and fine particulate(कण) matter. The National Capital Region(क्षेत्र) is badly hit, as the burning(दहन/जलाना) of agricultural residue(अवशेष) in Punjab and Haryana is releasing large volumes of smoke containing(युक्त/सम्मिलित करते हुए), among other pollutants, highly damaging fine particulates, or PM2.5. The problem is aggravated(बिगाड़ना/गंभीरता बढ़ाना) by the burning of urban(शहरी) waste, diesel soot, vehicular exhaust(निकास/समाप्त कर देना,), road and construction(निर्माण ) dust(धूल), and power generation. Although India has nine of the 10 most polluted(प्रदूषित) cities in the world, it has not taken consistent( लगातार ) action on pollution. Tens of millions live with ambient(व्यापक/परिवेश) air quality that is well short of even the relaxed parameters the country has set for fine particulates, compared with those of the World Health Organisation. India should at least now give high importance to the WHO warning about air pollution being the new tobacco. This year’s ‘severe’ air quality rating for Delhi and poor conditions prevailing(प्रचलित/विद्यमान) in other cities in the Indo-Gangetic Plain should compel(विवश करना/बाध्य करना) a decisive(निर्णयात्मक) shift(परिवर्तन/टालना) in policy. The Centre and the State governments need to get into crisis(संकट) mode to dramatically reduce(कम करें) emissions(फैलाव/प्रचार). They must address the burning of carbon, which is a direct source, and emissions with oxides of nitrogen and sulphur from vehicles that turn into fine particulates through atmospheric(वायुमंडलीय) reactions. Failure to take sustainable(टिकाऊ/धारणीय) and urgent measures(उपाय कार्यवाही) will inflict(थोपना/लगाना) long-term harm on public health, affecting children even more by putting them at higher risk for diseases.

Toxic fumes: Residue burning near the banks of Yamuna river in New Delhi pollutes the air.
India loses billions to air pollution: UN

The UN Environment Programme’s recent report titled ‘Air Pollution in Asia and the Pacific(शांत) : Science-Based Solutions’ has sounded a warning, pointing out that only 8% of the population in the countries of the region get to breathe(साँस लेना) air of acceptable(स्वीकार्य) quality. One study of degradation(गिरावट/घटाव) of Delhi’s air over a 10-year period beginning 2000 estimated(अनुमानित) premature(अकाल/असामयिक) mortality(मृत्यु-दर) to have risen(उठना) by as much as 60%. With the steady(नियमित/स्थिर) growth in the population of the capital and other cities, the trauma(आघात/क्षति) is set to worsen(खराब हो/बदतर होना). Farm stubble burning is a major contributor(योगदानकर्ता,) to the problem, and its footprint may be growing because of wider use of mechanical harvesters(कटाई ) that is producing more waste. An innovative(अभिनव) approach(दृष्टिकोण/पहुंच) could be to use climate(जलवायु/मौसम) change funds to turn farm residues into a resource(साधन/उपाय), using technological options such as converting them into biofuels(जैव ईंधन) and fertilizers(उर्वरकों). From an urban development perspective(परिप्रेक्ष्य/संभावना), large cities should reorient( पुनर्विचार ) their investments to prioritise(प्राथमिकता) public transport, favouring electric mobility(गतिशीलता). The World Bank has said it is keen to enhance(बढ़ाना/वृद्धि करना) its lending(उधार ) portfolio to tackle air pollution, opening a new avenue for this. Governments should make the use of personal vehicles in cities less attractive(आकर्षक) through strict road pricing mechanisms. Sharply(शीघ्रता से) escalated(तना हुआ/ख़राब करना), deterrent(निवारक/बचाव का) parking fees can be implemented(कार्यान्वित). If governments delay action on the critical(गंभीर) issue of pollution control, public pressure must force them to act.

 

 

Important Vocabulary

1.Choking(चकित कर/घुट)
Synonyms: clog, congest, drown, fill, gag
Antonyms: free, let go, loose, advance, aid

2.Trap(जाल/फँसाना)
Synonyms: ambush, bait, booby trap, device, net
Antonyms: blessing, frankness, honesty, honor, openness

3.Particulate(कण)
Synonyms: gritty, homespun, chapped, coarse-grained, crude

4.Aggravated(बिगाड़ना/गंभीरता बढ़ाना)
Synonyms: bother, irritate, provoke, bug, bum
Antonyms: aid, delight, help, please, calm

5.Containing(युक्त/सम्मिलित करते हुए)
Synonyms: accommodate, consist of, enclose, encompass, have
Antonyms: exclude, free, disbelieve, let go, release

6.Burning(दहन/जलाना)
Synonyms: fiery, flaming, gleaming, glowing, hot
Antonyms: cold, cool, dull, apathetic, unexcited

7.Exhaust(निकास/समाप्त कर देना
Synonyms: cripple, disable, drain, fatigue, frazzle
Antonyms: aid, assist, enable, energize, help

8.Prevailing(प्रचलित/विद्यमान) i
Synonyms: current, predominant, prevalent,, rampant, universal
Antonyms: limited, uncommon, unfixed, individual, minor

9.Compel(विवश करना/बाध्य करना)
Synonyms:constrain,enforce, exact, impel, necessitate
Antonyms: dissuade, discourage, halt, leave alone, stop

10.Sustainable(टिकाऊ/धारणीय)
Synonyms: continual, continuous, viable, feasible, unceasing
Antonyms: untenable, tiring, unendurable, unsuitable, brief

11.Inflict(थोपना/लगाना)
Synonyms: exact, expose, levy, wreak, administer
Antonyms: hold, keep, take, withhold

12.Sustainable(टिकाऊ/धारणीय)
Synonyms: continual, continuous, viable, feasible, unceasing
Antonyms: untenable, tiring, unendurable, unsuitable, brief

13.Acceptable(स्वीकार्य)
Synonyms: adequate, common, decent, fair, respectable,
Antonyms: bad, inadequate, insufficient, intolerable, poor

14.Worsen(खराब हो/बदतर होना).
Synonyms: aggravate, damage, decline, depress, deteriorate
Antonyms: aid, comfort, help, improve, increase

15.Premature(अकाल/असामयिक)
Synonyms: immature, incomplete, untimely, a bit previous, abortive
Antonyms: backward, careful, cautious, delayed, late

16.Degradation(गिरावट/घटाव)
Synonyms: degeneration, deterioration, abasement, debasement, decadence
Antonyms: esteem, honor, improvement, increase, morality

17.Mobility(गतिशीलता)
Synonyms: flexibility, maneuverability, motility, movability, portability

18.Escalated(तना हुआ/ख़राब करना),
Synonyms: expand, grow, heighten, intensify, mount
Antonyms: decline, decrease, diminish, drop, fall

19.Deterrent(निवारक/बचाव का)
Synonyms: disincentive, hindrance, obstacle, bridle, check
Antonyms: assistance, help, encouragement, catalyst, incentive

20.Enhance(बढ़ाना/वृद्धि करना)
Synonyms: add to, appreciate, augment, boost, build up
Antonyms: decrease, diminish, discourage, hurt

21.Innovative(अभिनव)
Synonyms: contemporary, ingenious, inventive, new, original
Antonyms: old, old-fashioned, worn, customary, habitual

 

 

Credit To The Hindu News Paper

Urgent correctives are needed, or lethal winter pollution will become the new normal
Air pollution is choking several cities in the northern States once again, as changes in temperature and slowing winds trap soot, dust and fine particulate matter. The National Capital Region is badly hit, as the burning of agricultural residue in Punjab and Haryana is releasing large volumes of smoke containing, among other pollutants, highly damaging fine particulates, or PM2.5. The problem is aggravated by the burning of urban waste, diesel soot, vehicular exhaust, road and construction dust, and power generation. Although India has nine of the 10 most polluted cities in the world, it has not taken consistent action on pollution. Tens of millions live with ambient air quality that is well short of even the relaxed parameters the country has set for fine particulates, compared with those of the World Health Organisation. India should at least now give high importance to the WHO warning about air pollution being the new tobacco. This year’s ‘severe’ air quality rating for Delhi and poor conditions prevailing in other cities in the Indo-Gangetic Plain should compel a decisive shift in policy. The Centre and the State governments need to get into crisis mode to dramatically reduce emissions. They must address the burning of carbon, which is a direct source, and emissions with oxides of nitrogen and sulphur from vehicles that turn into fine particulates through atmospheric reactions. Failure to take sustainable and urgent measures will inflict long-term harm on public health, affecting children even more by putting them at higher risk for diseases.

Toxic fumes: Residue burning near the banks of Yamuna river in New Delhi pollutes the air.
India loses billions to air pollution: UN

The UN Environment Programme’s recent report titled ‘Air Pollution in Asia and the Pacific: Science-Based Solutions’ has sounded a warning, pointing out that only 8% of the population in the countries of the region get to breathe air of acceptable quality. One study of degradation of Delhi’s air over a 10-year period beginning 2000 estimated premature mortality to have risen by as much as 60%. With the steady growth in the population of the capital and other cities, the trauma is set to worsen. Farm stubble burning is a major contributor to the problem, and its footprint may be growing because of wider use of mechanical harvesters that is producing more waste. An innovative approach could be to use climate change funds to turn farm residues into a resource, using technological options such as converting them into biofuels and fertilizers. From an urban development perspective, large cities should reorient their investments to prioritise public transport, favouring electric mobility. The World Bank has said it is keen to enhance its lending portfolio to tackle air pollution, opening a new avenue for this. Governments should make the use of personal vehicles in cities less attractive through strict road pricing mechanisms. Sharply escalated, deterrent parking fees can be implemented. If governments delay action on the critical issue of pollution control, public pressure must force them to act.