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Daily News Analysis

Air pollution impact on Rural and Urban areas

14th July, 2023 Environment

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  • The annual concentration of particulate matter 2.5 (PM 2.5) was as equally worse in rural areas as in urban areas of India in 2022.
  • A nonprofit Climate Trends made this analysis which is based on satellite-based data generated by IIT Delhi scientists.

Findings in details

  • In another analysis, by Centre for Science and Environment, it was found that rural region is more affected than urban regions in terms of losing life span due to the exposure to toxic air pollution.
  • It is estimated that a person in rural India loses an average of 5 years and 2 months of lifespan due to air pollution exposure, while city residents lose about 4 years and 5 months.
  • In rural regions of Uttar Pradesh; Bihar, and Haryana the loss of lifespan is as high as 7-8 years.
  • Against the national limit of 40 microgrammes, PM 2.5 level was found more than 45 microgrammes in both rural and urban, according to Climate Trends analysis.
  • The PM 2.5 can reach to lungs easily and may lead to many fatal diseases.

for Rural India

  • Focus of central government is to control toxic air pollution in urban areas.
  • There are no or minimal funds to tackle air pollution in rural regions of India.
  • 9,000 crores rs are released mainly for 131 cities under NCAP.
  • In most of the rural regions there are no ground pollution measuring mechanism.
  • National Clean Air Plan (NCAP) was launched in 2019 with an intention to reduce PM 2.5 and PM 10 concentration by 20-30% by 2024. However it addresses air pollution across India’s urban centres.
  • Pollution is significantly high in rural areas of Delhi, Bihar, Haryana, Uttar Pradesh, Rajasthan and West Bengal.

Way forward

  • A large network of high-spatial-resolution systematic, robust and continuous air pollutants monitoring for rural areas is needed.
  • More focus on rural regions and disbursing more funds for the same.
  • Airshade arrangement model needs to be taken into consideration.
  • A separate policy to combat air pollution for rural India is to be made and implemented.
  • Daily alert and awareness programmes.
  • Promotion of environmentally friendly transport.
  • Limit and check on stubble burning.
  • Encouraging the use of clean energy in cooking and agriculture.

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Impact of air pollution is not limited to urban areas. It equally affects the rural areas too. Discuss. Also enumerate the challenges and measure to tackle the menace of air pollution. (250 words)