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There
are many causes of air pollution and there are few main reasons that Delhi,
India being the most polluted city in the world. It is true how most of its air
pollution is caused by industry and followed by unclean engines from motor powered vehicles, especially
diesel-powered city buses and trucks. The emission of gases from these into the air causes what is
known as smog. Smog consists of tiny particles also known as particle
matter (PM) in the air includes a mixture of solids and liquid droplets (Online
dictionary 2017). There are several ways of measuring
pollution and one way of measuring air pollution is calculating the amount of
particular matters in air (Phukan 2014, paras 2-8). Particulate matter is a
mixture of extremely small particles and liquid droplets like acids, chemicals,
gas, water, metals, soil dust particles, etc., the measurement of which gives
an idea of the pollution of a city. According to Department
of Environment, Delhi there are 2 major reason for hazardous level of
pollutants in Delhi 1)
Vehicles: from 2002 to 2012, vehicle
numbers have increased by as much as 97%, contributing enormously
to the pollution load and direct exposure to toxic fumes. 2)  Industries
and thermal power plants make up 29 percent of the total air pollution in Delhi.

Because coal is the most abundant fossil fuel in India 90% of Delhi is
powered by coals other 10% includes diesel, gas, renewable energy etc. Singh et
al. (2010, pp 685-689).  Also, India has
poor quality coals which have high ash content (35-45%) Singh et al (cited in
Mathur et al., 2003). Burning of
bad quality coal emits greater amount of carbon monoxide, hydrocarbon, nitrogen
oxides, and particulate matter. Due to very fine particle size and
presence of potentially toxic elements like Arsenic, Chromium, Boron, Vanadium
and Antimony Rai et al. (2004, pp. 293-300). These tiny particles are known to
be toxic for living organisms. Some heavy metals could contaminate near waters,
ground water, and surrounding soil Rai et al. (2004, pp. 293-300). This makes
pollutants more hazardous for citizen of Delhi.

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In
the recent years government of Delhi has taken measurements against the
pollution of the city. Since, pollution created by the motor vehicles are high
making this problem priority is important. Recently, government of Delhi
launched a campaign to raise awareness to citizens of Delhi about air pollution
and educate motorists about the
health hazards also to show importance of engine tuning and maintenance
(government of Delhi 2017). Mass Rapid Transport System is being constructed
with the idea to create a non-polluting, efficient and affordable rail based
fast massive transit system (government of Delhi 2017). Improvement in fuel quality
has been significantly improved during recent years by completely removing
leaded petrol, reducing Sulphur content in diesel fuel, and the quality of
petrol being supplied to Delhi has been improved further by reduction of
Sulphur content to 0.015% & Benzene Content to 1% (government of Delhi
2017). Furthermore, instead of replacing old vehicles or diesel vehicles having
alternate fuel might be more beneficial. LPG (Liquefied Petroleum Gas) is
better alternate automotive fuel due to its clean combustion and better
drive-ability compared to both conventional fuels (government of Delhi 2017).

The vehicle running on petrol can easily be convertible and converted vehicle
can have both the option of using LPG& petrol fuel (government of Delhi
2017).  

To
see effectiveness from the measurements above daily air pollution data has been
taken from busiest streets in Delhi by CPCB (Central Pollution Control Board).

The data was taken between date from 14th of June 1999 and 10th
of June 2001(Kathuria 2002, pp 1150-1151). Although, measurements were only
taken on working days CPCB were able to take some readings (Kathuria 2002, pp
1150-1151). However, regardless of few measurements, level of suspended
particulate matter(SPM) seemed to become worse until 2001. By 2001, the level
of suspended particulate matter has fallen by only 1 percent (Kathuria 2002, pp
1150-1151). For carbon dioxide (CO), level of carbon dioxide increased
surprisingly in 2000, but in 2001 it showed great improvement. Despite of
showing some improvements it never reached its level of standard. The only
chemical that declined was Sulphur dioxide. According to the Government of
British Columbia this is because diesel emits much greater SO2 than petrol. As
Kathuria (2002, p.1151) report, “If we compare with the CPCB definition of
‘clean air’ or, achieving ambient air pollution levels that are 50 per cent of
the standards set for each pollutant round the year, the results seem quite
catastrophic, except for SO2”. From the analysis, it can be seen that having these
measurements did not noticeably improve the air quality.

 

 

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