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Slogan placard urging people to save the climate

On 2nd of December, India observes 'National Pollution Control Day' in remembrance of the people who lost their lives in the 1984 Bhopal Gas Tragedy. The incident which affected over half a million people, occurred during the night of 2nd and 3rd December 1984. The leakage of gas from the Union Carbide India Limited pesticide plant in Bhopal is considered as one of the worst industrial disasters in the world. Around half a million people were exposed to the highly toxic Methyl Isocyanate gas which resulted in some losing their lives immediately, while others suffered major injuries. The cause behind the disaster is still under debate. According to the Union Carbide Corporation (UCC), it happened due to an act of sabotage.

Apart from the tragedy that happened. The day is, also, a symbol of the deteriorating state of environment. It is the need of the hour to curb and take necessary steps in order to survive. Human foot-print is turning out to be nothing but negative on the planet earth. The pollution from any human activity is not only adversely affecting the planet but no stringent measures are in place to curb the damage caused.

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This is the most disastrous trend catching on among the increasing number of consumers across the world.

By- Salil Gewali

Our luxury comes at a price. Unless we hurt Mother Earth, we don't get our easy appliances and gadgets. Don't we already know that innumerable industries across the globe ceaselessly emit millions after millions of gallons of obnoxious gases every single minute? We get our swanky cars, computers, washing machines, mobile, rockets, trains --- anything you name, only after irreparably polluting the atmosphere. If we look at it deeply, we are all to blame for this environmental mess.

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Photo by Wikimedia Commons

Of the world's top 10 cities with the worst air quality, three -- Delhi, Kolkata and Mumbai, are in India

Of the world's top 10 cities with the worst air quality, three -- Delhi, Kolkata, and Mumbai, are in India, data from air quality and pollution city tracking service from IQAir, a Switzerland-based climate group, showed.

While Delhi's Air Quality Index (AQI) at 556 made it to the top of the list, Kolkata and Mumbai recorded an AQI of 177 and 169, respectively, at fourth and sixth position, on the list.

The cities with the worst AQI indexes also include Lahore, Pakistan, and Chengdu, China.

A real-time air quality information platform -- IQAir is also a technology partner of the United Nations Environmental Program (UNEP).

As per System of Air Quality and Weather Forecasting And Research (SAFAR) data, Delhi's overall air quality on Saturday morning stood at 499, whereas the level of PM 10 and PM 2.5 pollutants in the air was recorded at 134 and 72, respectively.

Central Pollution Control Board (CPCB) data at 9 a.m. recorded an AQI of 468 at Anand Vihar, 484 at ITO, 433 at RK Puram and 452 at Sri Aurobindo's.

An AQI between zero and 50 is considered 'good', 51 and 100 'satisfactory', 101 and 200 'moderate', 201 and 300 'poor', 301 and 400 'very poor', then 401 and between 500 is considered 'severe'.

The Supreme Court on Saturday took a serious view of the severe air pollution in Delhi-NCR and suggested that if needed, the government can declare a two-day lockdown to bring down the levels, which have been caused by stubble burning, vehicles, firecrackers, industries, and dust.

The Chief Justice noted that stubble burning by farmers is only responsible for 25 per cent of the pollution, and the remaining 75 per cent pollution was from firecracker burning, vehicular pollution, dust, etc. (IANS/JB)

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NASA aerial image of India

The clear blue skies over the national capital may go dark soon with dust and smoke as the stubble burning season nears. The satellite images by US space agency NASA have shown that crop residue burning has already started in several fields in Haryana and Punjab, according to media reports.

Punjab annually generates 20 million tonnes of paddy straw, which is normally set on fire to quickly clear the fields for the next crop, resulting in choking of the National Capital Region (NCR) in October and November, and causing major health effects.

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