Uneven development adds to air pollution
December 12,2016 By:China Daily
LI MIN/CHINA DAILY
Dec. 12, 2016 -- Politicians and bureaucrats across the world－at local, regional and national levels－have been coming up with new ideas to reduce air pollution. More recently, some have pointed the finger at rural contributions to air pollution in the developing world, especially in India and China.
During Diwali celebrations at the end of October, New Delhi's pollution level was off the charts, cementing the Indian capital's status as the world's most polluted megacity and rekindling a nationwide debate on India's killing smog. Official data from the Delhi Pollution Control Committee showed hazardous levels of smog, with concentrations of both PM2.5 and PM10－harmful particulates with a diameter of 2.5 and 10 micrometers or less－hitting levels more than 30 times the World Health Organization's recommended 24 hour average limit.
Over the last few years India has held multiple conferences and workshops to find a solution to the smog. A regional approach is the most common suggestion to have emerged from these conferences, but the situation on the ground has not changed. In fact, it is getting worse with each passing year.
India has more than 100 coal-based power plants (and over 400 units) with old technology, with burning of crop remains adding to the emissions. And New Delhi's notorious pollution is the result of a noxious cocktail of emissions from vehicles and coal-fired power plants, fumes from cooking stoves and crop-burning in neighboring provinces.