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Q. Issues of air pollution in India: Comment on issues related to air pollution in India.
Jan 16, 2017 Related to : GS Paper-3

Ans :


Recent report of Greenpeace India has raised alarming warning on impact of air pollution in India. According to Greenpeace's report, about 1.2 million deaths take place every year in India due to air pollution. Growing air pollution has multifaceted impact on growth and development of India. 

Impact of air pollution-

  • Out of total 168 cities across 24 states that are surveyed by the Greenpeace, no city is complied with global air quality norms. According to its study 3% of the country’s GDP is lost because of air pollution.
  • According to the World Bank report, about 8.5% of the country’s GDP in 2013 was lost to air pollution. It reflects how bad air is enough to offset the growth rate.


  • An OECD report last year has shown the various macroeconomic effects of pollution, like loss in labour productivity, slowing agriculture, mounting health costs, and welfare costs of illness and morbidity. 
  • Impacts of pollution will multiply over time and hurt the economy. People don’t want to move to places with toxic air and businesses suffer because the poor quality of life deters investors.
  • The response to air pollution in India has been sporadic and focused on big cities. Hence instead of such piecemeal approach, it needs deep policy intervention.
  • There is need to improve last last-mile public transport connectivity. To tackle Industrial pollution national standards must implemented and monitored strictly. Garbage burning can be stopped with a radical overhaul of how cities generate and segregate waste and pollution from mines.
  • The focus also needs to shift away from big metros to smaller cities, where near-absent monitoring, lax oversight and poor awareness propel pollution.


Growing air pollution is cause of concern and it has multifaceted impact on health as well economic development of the country. Hence policy makers need to focus on larger aspects instead of adopting piecemeal approach. It high time to wage a war against air pollution before it causes further losses.

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