India: E-reporting of air pollution incidents - SSRANA

India: E-reporting of air pollution incidents

November 20, 2018

Source: www.india.gov.in

The alarmingly high rates of pollution have raised great concerns for the Government. The dipping air quality index specifically during the festive season is indicative of the worsening of the environment and the dangers of the prospective increase of pollutants therein. The present levels are sufficient to contribute towards the lower health standards and with such a poor-quality air with dangerous gasses, it shall become difficult for people to ordinarily breathe in the open air. Visualising the gravity and sensitivity of the issue, the Central Pollution Control Board has notified for inviting complaints in this regard.

Pollution

Introduction of contaminants such as any solid, liquid or gaseous substance present in the surrounding ecosystem in such a concentration, as may be, or tend to be injurious to environment including air, water, soil and inter-relationship between living creatures.

Causes

The needs of the modern lifestyle require excessive usage of resources. The unregulated and indiscriminate usage of energy resources without controlling the emissions released for purposes of industrial usage, vehicular needs, crop destruction, construction activities, burning of garbage, thermal energy, etc. cause pollution. Also, the inducement of the environment damaging components in the form of man-made pollutants such as plastic, chemicals, firecrackers, electric/ electronic equipment, radioactive/ nuclear wastes, etc. result in further environmental harm.

Ill-effects

Raising pollution has resulted in the accumulation of problems such as dermatological issues, chronic respiratory disorders, cardiovascular problems, retardation of foetal growth, etc. This has affected most to the children and old people. It has also caused in death and extinction of various species which once resided on the planet, making an ecological imbalance in the co-existent natural system.

Controlling mechanism

The Environment Protection Act, 1986 with the objective of conservation and improvement of environment has been introduced along with various legislations working towards the protection of various environmental components.

To ensure effective monitoring and regulation of pollution, authorities such as the Central Pollution Control Board (hereinafter referred to as “CPCB”) have been established which works for cleanliness thus improving the environment. In furtherance of the said objectives CPCB consistently formulates strategies.

Remedies

Confronted by the challenge of handling the pollution menace, the Government has taken numerous recent measures. It has been creating awareness and involving citizen participation in the campaigns aimed at the conservation of the environment in the form encouraging plastic ban, electric vehicle usage, usage of low emission vehicles, advantages of shared mobility/ public transport, etc.

E-complaints

The Central Pollution Control Board Thursday informed the Supreme Court that it has created social media account on Twitter (https://twitter.com/CPCB_OFFICIAL ) and Facebook (https://www.facebook.com/Central-Pollution-Control-Board-315289479059625/ ) to facilitate citizens in lodging complaints pertaining to air pollution incidents in Delhi-National Capital Region. Apart from the social media accounts, complaints can be lodged through Sameer mobile App.[1]

This comes in furtherance to the Supreme Court order dated October 29, 2018, prohibiting the plying of 15-year old petrol and 10-year old diesel vehicles in the National Capital Region due to the alarmingly high levels of pollution in the region. [2]

With the proliferation of internet in the modern lifestyle and attributable to its ready accessibility, more and more people of the country are active on the social media platforms. These not only help to share their viewpoints, comments, pictures, videos, etc. while using such interface for social networking purposes. The Government is using this digitalization media to control the pollution causing activities by using the e-space for reporting such incidents.

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[1]https://indianexpress.com/article/india/delhi-ncr-air-pollution-cpcb-guidelines-complaints-supreme-court-social-media-5427900/ davp 13113/13/0013/1819

[2]https://economictimes.indiatimes.com/news/politics-and-nation/sc-prohibits-plying-of-15-yr-old-petrol-10-yr-old-diesel-vehicles-in-ncr/articleshow/66414941.cms

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