Uttar Pradesh Current Affairs - 2019
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The Air Pollution levels at the Indian cities are at an alarming level. Various Reports have time and again tried to shed light on the quantum of the problem.
Air Pollution and Indian Cities
- A Delhi based Environment Body claims that the Varanasi, Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s Lok Sabha constituency, is ranked third on the WHO’s list of 15 most polluted cities and the situation is “deteriorating” as its MP has focused on beautification and infrastructure.
- In the ‘Political Leaders Position and Action on Air Quality in India 2014-2019’ report, released by Climate Trends Delhi is ranked sixth on the list. The report states that there has been “laziness” on part of its elected caretakers in tackling air pollution in the city.
- As per the World Health Organisation, (WHO) list of most polluted cities, 14 of the 15 most polluted cities in the world are in India of which four are in Uttar Pradesh.
- WHO report states that the Prime Minister’s parliamentary constituency Varanasi in Uttar Pradesh is witnessing a rise in the number of people suffering from allergies and respiratory problems due to a “lot” of construction in the city.
- Kanpur in Uttar Pradesh is the most polluted city in the world. Kanpur is ranked one on the list. Faridabad in Haryana has been ranked second and Varanasi has been ranked third.
- Gaya and Patna in Bihar are fourth and fifth on the list.
- Delhi has been ranked sixth and Uttar Pradesh capital Lucknow is ranked seventh.
- The report by climate trends claimed MPs of Lucknow and Kanpur — Home Minister Rajnath Singh and senior BJP leader Murli Manohar Joshi respectively — have mostly been silent on the issue of air pollution in their respective constituencies.
- Other cities in the WHO list of polluted cities are Agra, Muzaffarpur, Srinagar, Gurugram, Jaipur, Patiala and Jodhpur.
Air Quality Index
The Air Quality Index between 0 and 50 is considered “good”, 51 and 100 “satisfactory”, 101 and 200 “moderate”, 201 and 300 “poor”, 301 and 400 “very poor”, and 401 and 500 “severe”, as per pollution control authorities.
Tags: Agra • air pollution • Bihar • Climate Trends • Delhi • Faridabad • Gaya • Gurugram • Haryana • Jaipur • Jodhpur • Kanpur • Muzaffarpur • Patiala • Patna • Srinagar • Uttar Pradesh • Varanasi • WHO • World Health Organisation
A study from the Research Institute for Compassionate Economics (r.i.c.e) study on the Pradhan Mantri Ujjwala Yojna (PMUY) makes the following observations:
- Most rural households with LPG (liquefied petroleum gas) connections still use chulhas with firewood or dung cakes which are the detriment of rural health.
- 85% of Ujjwala beneficiaries in rural Bihar, Madhya Pradesh, Uttar Pradesh and Rajasthan still use solid fuels for cooking, due to financial reasons as well as gender inequalities.
- In the four States surveyed, there was a substantial increase in LPG ownership due to the scheme, with 76% of households now owning an LPG connection.
- Overall only 27% of households exclusively used the gas stove and another 37% reported using both the chulha and the gas stove, while 36% used chulha exclusively.
- Whereas among those who received LPG connection through PMUY, almost 53% exclusively used the chulha, while 32% used both.
- The beneficiaries of PMUY are poorer, on average than households who got LPG on their own. Refilling the cylinder is a greater fraction of their monthly consumption, and they may be less likely to get a refill immediately after a cylinder becomes empty.
- Almost 70% of households do not spend anything on solid fuels, meaning that the relative cost of an LPG cylinder refill, even if subsidised, is far higher.
- Women are not typically economic decision-makers in the household, hindering a shift to LPG usage.
- 70% of respondents thought the gas stove was better for the health of the cook (typically a woman), more than 86% felt that cooking on the chulha was better for the health of those eating, reflecting ignorance of the fact that ambient air pollution is harmful even to those who are not cooking the food.
The survey covered a random sample of 1,550 households in 11 districts of the four States, which collectively have two-fifths of the country’s rural population.