With an exclusive interview with Confer Global, Ashutosh Kumar Jha, Head EHS, DIC Corporation shared his views on the major sources of air pollution and its impacts on human health.
Q: What are the major factors for the current air quality in the country?
A: There are multiple factor which cumulatively is responsible for current air quality in major cities in India, including Delhi. It all starts with the population density of cities which is quite high when compared to Class B cities or rural area.
The more the density, you will end up having more municipal solid waste, which we end up burning due to lack of proper land-filling. The same issue of population density will also leads to more vehicles on roads, leads to more vehicular pollutions.
Poor public transport system, which ends up having more private vehicles on roads, leads to more pollution.Urbanization of cities or its vicinity, lots of new construction to take care of migrating populations, this adds up to the dust and debris in air and leads to air pollution.
In additions to above which is common to all major cities Delhi have few other factors which contributes to air pollution and make it worst
- Its geography and extreme winter which makes dust particles and pollutants unable to move and stagnant wind hold the pollutants in air leads to dangerous SMOG.
- Another reason is crop burning in nearby states, wind carries all the pollutants and dust particles which adds to the problems.
Q: What are the initiatives taken by your organization to reduce the air pollutants?
A: There are various initiatives taken by our organization to reduce the impact of air pollutants from our operations. The major ones which we have completed and planned are:
- We have changes fuel for our thermo-packs/ Boilers from Oil to Gas, which helps is reducing the air emission and GHG emissions.
- All the light fittings used in our plants are LED’s, which reduce the amount of electricity consumed and indirectly contributes to lesser air emission are source.
- We have DG sets for Power backup at Noida, which we are planning to replace by Gas Based in next 1-2 Years.
- In 2018 we are planning to install solar panels at all of our sites wherever possible to reduce energy consumption and indirectly contributes to lesser air emission are source.
Q: What technologies do you think can help to combat the issues?
A: It is the need of the hour now for metros to combat the issues, like Government is talking about bring BS VI grades fuels this year itself, but is the possible is a big questions and its is not only bringing the BS VI grade fuel but also the BS VI grade vehicles, otherwise it will be a mismatch for the vehicle and make not be helpful in reducing pollutants and make effect engine life as well. And, Solution of open burning of crops.
More than above its Public infrastructure boost is required for all metros, it may be better roads, Buses, Metros, monorails.
However the basic cause of all this which is dense populations is only be addressed if government will make plan to develop infrastructure, public transport and promote industries and employment in Class B or C. This will address the cause of the problem and will contribute significantly in reducing or minimizing the current air issue.
Q: What are the impacts of current air quality on health?
A: Major concerns for human health from exposure to PM 10. This includes effects on breathing and respiratory systems, damage to lung tissue, which leads to reduction in lung function, cancer and premature death. Elderly persons, children and people with chronic lung disease, influenza or asthma are especially sensitive to the effects of particulate matter. Headache, hypertension, eye and skin irritations are other impacts of poor air quality.
Q: Do we have infrastructure to implement large scale measures?
A: Infrastructural and Policy changes are the major work which needs to be speed up, to tackle this problem from further degradation. We lack infrastructure and Polices to support this. As I said earlier the basic cause of all this which is dense populations, which is only be addressed if government will make plan to develop infrastructure, public transport and promote industries and employment in Class B or C. This will address the cause of the problem and will contribute significantly in reducing or minimizing the current air issue.
Q: Are the governments going too slow or too fast with the measures to improve the air quality and environment?
A: I see the intent of this Government is really good, they are looking to take a leap from BS IV to BS VI norms, they are promoting metros in all the Tier 1 and 2 Cities, Development of Road and connectivity is being developed at better pace. Reviewing and Revision old statutory rules and regulation on Environment.
However what is lacks in promoting industries and employment generation in Class B cities, and speed of actions. New norms and regulations are coming up or are being reviewed however its enforcement for compliance is very poor, due to which we are not seeing the change.
Mr. Ashutosh Kumar Jha will speaking at the Pollution Control & Emissions Monitoring World Conference & Exhibition, scheduled to take place on 18 – 19 April 2018 at The Taj Mahal Hotel, New Delhi, India where we will be gaining more insights from his expert presentation and panel discussions.
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