During this winter season, the skyscrapers of Mumbai were not visible clearly because of the brown-coloured smog in the skies, on most of the days. On many days, the air quality of Mumbai was worse than the national capital of Delhi. This situation is a reflection of the grave situation of the environmental problems. In the area spanning across the region from the Indus to the Ganga River, in Delhi and other cities nearby, the air is the most polluted in the world.
As per the World Bank’s new analysis, out of the 10 cities of the world which are the most affected by air pollution, 9 are in South Asia. For some time, Pakistan’s Karachi and Peshawar cities were at the top of the Global Index of the worst air quality. Many a times, in the outskirts of Nepal’s capital Kathmandu, the snow-capped Himalayan peaks are covered with yellow-brown smog. In South Asia, the health of crores of people is getting affected adversely due to polluted air and they are getting affected economically as well.
It is estimated that every year, more than 20 lakh people lose their lives due to air pollution across India, Bangladesh, Pakistan, and Nepal. According to a new study, in the Indus-Ganga River region, the age of an average Indian has reduced 7 years because of air pollution. In a recently published study in the medical journal, Lancet, that due to the deaths and illnesses caused by pollution, the Indian economy faced a loss of more than 3 lakh crore Rupees in the year 2019.
And while governments across the world pay attention towards the betterment of polluted cities, they do not pay heed towards the areas nearby the cities which pollute those cities. Europe and China have improved the condition in the distant polluting areas with control. With these control measures, the air of Beijing is getting cleansed.
Delhi and the areas nearby are following this lead. The Air Quality Management Commission, formed in 2021, has been given the responsibility of controlling pollution across an area spanning 55000 sq. km. across Delhi, Haryana, Rajasthan, and Uttar Pradesh, and the results have been positive.