Varanasi Current Affairs - 2019

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Indian Cities and Air Pollution

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.

Month: Categories: Environment & BiodiversityUPSC

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PM Modi Flags-off First Ever Diesel-to-Electric Converted Locomotive

Prime Minister Narendra Modi flagged off the first ever diesel-to-electric converted locomotive at the Diesel Locomotive Works (DLW) at Varanasi, Uttar Pradesh.

Diesel-to-Electric Converted Locomotive

  • The 10,000HP freight locomotive was converted from two units of old diesel locomotives of 2600 HP each with indigenous technology.
  • The conversion was achieved in record time with the help of engineers from Research Designs and Standards Organisation (RDSO), Chittaranjan Locomotive Works(CLW), and BHEL.
  • The conversion has proved to be cost effective as it requires half of the rehabilitation cost of old locos and it is also environment-friendly with enhanced traction power to double the average speed of goods train.

DLW has developed a new prototype electric locomotive converted from diesel locomotive as part of the Indian Railways Mission 100 per cent electrification and de-carbonization agenda.

Indian Railways Mission 100 per cent Electrification

The Indian Railways has undertaken Mission 100 per cent electrification to electrify the last leg of about 13,675 Km railway tracks at a cost of Rs 12,134 crore. The 100 per cent electrification will electrify all broad gauge lines of Indian Railways and it will make Indian Railways the largest electrified rail network in the world.

Benefits of 100 per cent Electrification

  • Reduced dependence on imported diesel.
  • Enhanced line capacity and higher haulage capacity.
  • Seamless train operations ensuring better speed.
  • Improved signalling system for enhanced safety.
  • Direct employment generation during construction for nearly 20.4 crore man days.

100 per cent electrification also provides environmental benefits like reduced environment cost per tonne-kilometre, 24% reduction in carbon dioxide emissions by 2027-2028 and a reduction of nearly 2.83 billion litres of fossil fuel consumption per annum.

Month: Categories: Science & Technology

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