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There are multiple environmental issues in India. Air pollution, water pollution, garbage, domestically prohibited goods and pollution of the natural environment are all challenges for India. Nature is also causing some drastic effects on India. The situation was worse between 1947 through 1995. According to data collected and environmental assessments studied by World Bank experts, between 1995 through 2010, India has made some of the fastest progress in addressing its environmental issues and improving its environmental quality in the world. However, Pollution still remains a major challenge and opportunity for the country.
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British rule of India saw several laws related to the environment. Amongst the earliest ones were Shore Nuisance (Bombay and Kolkata) Act of 1853 and the Oriental Gas Company Act of 1857. The Indian Penal Code of 1860, imposed a fine on anyone who voluntarily fouls the water of any public spring or reservoir. In addition, the Code penalised negligent acts. British India also enacted laws aimed at controlling air pollution. Prominent amongst these were the Bengal Smoke Nuisance Act of 1905 and the Bombay Smoke Nuisance Act of 1912. Whilst these laws failed in having the intended effect, British-enacted legislations pioneered the growth of environmental regulations in India.
Despite the active passage of laws by the central government of India, the reality of environmental quality mostly worsened between 1947 and 1990. Rural poor had no choice, but to sustain life in whatever way possible. Air emissions increased, water pollution worsened, forest cover decreased.
Air pollution, poor management of waste, growing water scarcity, falling groundwater tables, water pollution, preservation and quality of forests, biodiversity loss, and land/soil degradation are some of the major environmental issues India faces today.
Population growth, because it can place increased pressure on the assimilative capacity of the environment, is also seen as a major cause of air, water, and solid-waste pollution. The result, Malthus theorised, is an equilibrium population that enjoys low levels of both income and Environmental quality. Malthus suggested positive and preventative forced control of human population, along with abolition of poor laws.
Noise pollution or noise disturbance is the most efficiently changing and disturbing or excessive noise that may harm the activity or balance of human or animal life. The source of most outdoor noise worldwide is mainly caused by machines and transportation systems, motor vehicles, aircraft, and trains. In India the outdoor noise is also caused by loud music during festival seasons.Outdoor noise is summarized by the word environmental noise. Poor urban planning may give rise to noise pollution, since side-by-side industrial and residential buildings can result in noise pollution in the residential areas.
There is an increasing trend in the total levels of air pollution as well as negative health and environmental impacts caused by it in recent decades. Over these same decades, science has also linked air pollution to cardiopulmonary conditions, cancer, diabetes, tuberculosis, neurodegenerative disorders, mental health, pregnancy losses, reduced birth weight, and reduced life expectancy (Balakrishnan et al. 2018; Dockery et al. 1993; Pope et al. 2002).
Socially and economically marginalized people tend to be the most impacted although they contribute very little to overall air pollution. They do not have the luxury or the choice to stop working when air pollution levels are deemed hazardous, as they must tend to their fields, work as daily-wage laborers, or ply their trades in the open. They have very little leverage in negotiating for workspaces with lower exposure to air pollution thereby increasing their chances of falling ill, adding to their expenses, and weakening their economic situation. Hence, the burden of disease at household level is so high for the poor that they are often trapped in a self-reinforcing vicious vulnerability cycle of exposure to air pollution. Therefore, there is an urgent need to investigate the environmental injustice dimension of air pollution exposure and impacts to develop protection mechanisms for vulnerable populations. There is a gap in research on the economic and social costs of air pollution at household level. Based on observations of other pressing issues in the region, when atmospheric monitoring studies are reinforced with economic cost studies, it tends to help push policy more urgently and significantly. An issue gets attention from public and policy-makers only when there are clear numbers and associated costs. It also helps nudge behavioral change in society.
There are some examples of effective local interventions to address air pollution in the HKH/South Asia region. The city of Surat in western India addressed air pollution from the ground up, by tackling waste management to curb open burning. After the success of this initiative, attention is now focused on the construction sector, which is also one of the major contributors to air pollution. Emergence of zigzag technology use in the brick industry in Nepal and Pakistan has paved the way in reducing emissions. There is also work ongoing on developing greener construction codes, which is expected to further help air quality in the city. Another set of examples from the region where local municipalities have intervened to minimize air pollution, come from Gujarat and Uttarakhand in India. Local authorities in these states have retrofitted old towns and industrial areas to ensure there are green corridors, open spaces, and new technologies to minimize air pollution and other negative environmental impacts that have resulted from rapid development. There has also been a boom in the use of electric vehicles in recent years, which is a welcome sign toward green mobility in urban centers. These would require significant support from governments in the region to facilitate take-up. Moreover, countries like Bhutan and Nepal have hydropower surplus which presents the potential to adopt induction based clean cooking in the region.
Sustaining the solutions will require buy-in and involvement of the private sector. There is a need to demonstrate to the private sector that investing in environmental solutions like air pollution is going to be profitable in the long run. It is already clear that the costs of inaction on environmental solutions outweighs any type of investment. This is also going to be important to mainstream solutions and minimize the reliance on grants and funding from donors/NGOs for solutions in the region.
There appears to be a policy lag at addressing the environmental and health impacts of growing air pollution in the Greater Punjab and IGP region over the past decades. One of the main reasons cited by policy makers and practitioners has been the technicality of the science and the subject matter. Effective communication of air pollution and atmospheric sciences to practitioners and policy-makers, coupled with enabling regulatory changes, can help address this challenge.
This report provides a comprehensive assessment of the economic consequences of outdoor air pollution in the coming decades, focusing on the impacts on mortality, morbidity, and changes in crop yields as caused by high concentrations of pollutants. Unless more stringent policies are adopted, findings point to a significant increase in global emissions and concentrations of air pollutants, with severe impacts on human health and the environment. The market impacts of outdoor air pollution are projected to lead to significant economic costs, which are illustrated at the regional and sectoral levels, and to substantial annual global welfare costs.
Agriculture is foundational for both everyday life, as well as the economy as a whole. It also, however, can have profound effects on the planet. Agricultural pollution occurs when contamination created as a by-product of raising livestock and growing food crops is released into the environment, and the contamination is vast. Major contributors to agricultural-related land pollution include run-off from pesticides, herbicides, fertilizer and animal waste.
Given that the use of pesticides and chemicals in farming and agriculture greatly contributes to land pollution, finding alternatives will help to reduce the environmental impact. Farmers, for instance, can use natural ingredients by switching from bio-fertilizers to manure or enrolling in programs that provide education and resources regarding sustainable farming.
When solid waste is not properly treated it can increase the level of toxic chemicals and hazardous substances in soil. Chemical treatment methods under a controlled environment can help reduce land pollution. This solid waste treatment method includes neutralization. This treatment alters the pH level of waste before it gets dumped into landfills.
Water, Air, & Soil Pollution is an international, interdisciplinary journal on all aspects of pollution and solutions to pollution in the biosphere. This includes chemical, physical and biological processes affecting flora, fauna, water, air and soil in relation to environmental pollution. Because of its scope, the subject areas are diverse and include all aspects of pollution sources, transport, deposition, accumulation, acid precipitation, atmospheric pollution, metals, aquatic pollution including marine pollution, Arctic /Antarctic pollution, water, ground water, waste water, micro-plastics, nanoparticles, pesticides, environmental sustainability, soil pollution, industrial pollutants, sewage, sediment pollution, forestry pollution, effects of pollutants on humans, vegetation, fish, aquatic species, micro-organisms, and animals. Submissions are welcome in environmental and molecular toxicology applied to pollution research, biosensors, global and climate change, ecological implications of pollution and pollution models. Water, Air, & Soil Pollution also publishes manuscripts on methods used in the study of environmental pollutants, environmental toxicology, environmental biology and chemistry, bioassays, novel environmental engineering and bioreactors related to pollution, remote sensing, biochar in pollution control, environmental genomics applied to pollution research, biodiversity as influenced by pollution, environmental biotechnology as applied to pollution (e.g., bioremediation, phytoremediation, biofuels), environmental modelling and biorestoration of polluted environments.