air pollution Current Affairs - 2020

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GoI to allot six Coal Mines to reduce coal imports

On December 13, 2019, Ministry of Coal initiated the auction process of 27 coal mines. Out of the 27 coal mines, applications were received for 6 mines. It includes mines at Bikram, Brahmapuri, Bhaskarpara, Jagannathpur and Jamkhani.

Highlights

The mines will add 5 metric tonnes of coal per annum. Also, it will generate Rs 15,000 crores of revenue for the state governments. The purpose of these auctions is to reduce the dependence of the coal industry on imported coal. India is currently importing 233.56 million tonnes of coal (2018-19). Coal imports increased by 8.8% as compared to 2017-18.

Government Measures

Government of India is currently planning to decrease dependence of coal and its imports. In order to achieve this, Coal India aims to raise its annual output to 880 million tons by 2024. This will help in reducing imports and eventually stop the country’s energy dependence on coal. This will also aid in India’s plan to expand the economy to 5 trillion USD by 2024.

The Government of India is also using Clean Coal Technology to reduce air pollution caused due to usage of coal.

Clean Coal Technology

Some of the Clean Coal Technology methods that are currently used in the country includes pre-combustion capture, oxy-fuel combustion and post-combustion capture. Pre-combustion capture includes production of heat through gasification of feedstock. In this process, a mix of hydrogen and Carbon dioxide rich gas is produced and the mixture can be separated easily. In Oxy-fuel combustion, fossil fuel such as coal is burnt in recirculated flue gas and oxygen rather than air. This eliminates nitrogen largely.

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2 December: National Pollution Control Day

Every year 2 December is observed as National Pollution Control Day to commemorate the people who lost their lives in the unfortunate incident of Bhopal Gas Tragedy that occurred on this day in 1984.

About National Pollution Control Day

Objective: National Pollution Control Day has three major objectives:

  • To raise awareness about increasing air pollution and educating people about how to control and manage industrial disasters.
  • To make everyone aware of significance of pollution control acts and ways and to reduce the level of pollution
  • To control/ prevent industrial pollution that is a result of human negligence.

Significance:  The day shows how impactful air pollution is. As per National Health Portal of India (NHPI), every year about 7 million people globally die due to air pollution. NHPI also states that condition is so worse that 9 among 10 people globally do not have access to safe air. Air pollution is responsible for the damage of ozone layer and the pollutants present in air can potentially pass through protective barriers present in the body and can damage your lungs, brain, and heart.

About Bhopal Gas Tragedy

The year 2019 celebrated the 35th anniversary of Bhopal Gas Tragedy that took the life of thousands of people at midnight on 2 December 1984. Bhopal Gas Tragedy occurred after a highly toxic methyl isocyanate (MIC) gas made its way into and around area situated near Union Carbide India Limited (UCIL) pesticide plant in Bhopal and is considered as the world’s worst industrial disaster. As per official data, the incident claimed lives of 2,259 people immediately after incident, however, the Madhya Pradesh government had confirmed that a total of 3787 people died due to gas release.

NOTE: National Pollution Control Board (NPCB) is national governing body responsible for regulating conducts checks on industries to know whether they are following environmental regulations or not.

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