AIR POLLUTION CONTROL IN INDIA Air pollution is the introduction of chemicals, particulate matter, or biological materials that cause harm or discomfort to humans or other living organisms, or cause damage to the natural environment or built environment, into the atmosphere. The first law against air pollution was passed in 1873. Air pollution can be classified broadly in two types: 1) Urban * Industrialization * Vehicles The increasing number of vehicles and industries constitute a major source for air pollution in urban areas. Heavy subsidy on Diesel also contributed to urban air pollution. 2) Rural * Indoor air pollution Indoor air pollution is caused due to poor availability of resources. It is directly and indirectly linked to lack of awareness and unaffordability which can be tackled by creating more employment opportunities for people. In India around 60% of the total population lives in rural areas and thus pollution caused due to indoor burning of solids is also very high. Case study: Bhopal Gas tragedy (1984) The Bhopal Gas Tragedy, involving a massive release of 40 tonnes heavier-than-air toxic methylisocyanate (MIC) gas, resulted in the death or injury of many thousands of people in the surrounding residential areas.
It is attributed to the failure of safety systems, which allowed forty tones of the poisonous methyl isocyanate from the Union Carbide plant, to mix with water at a high temperature. Half a million people were exposed to the gas and 20,000 have died to date as a result of their exposure. More than 120,000 people still suffer from ailments caused by the accident and the subsequent pollution at the plant site. These ailments include blindness, extreme difficulty in breathing, and gynecological disorders. Controlling Air Pollution:
National Air Quality Monitoring Program (NAMP)- The objectives of the N. A. M. P. are to determine status and trends of ambient air quality; to ascertain whether the prescribed ambient air quality standards are violated; to Identify Non-attainment Cities; to obtain the knowledge and understanding necessary for developing preventive and corrective measures and to understand the natural cleansing process undergoing in the environment through pollution dilution, dispersion, wind based movement, dry deposition, precipitation and chemical transformation of pollutants generated.