Green Cities

From Plastics to Pollution: India’s Killer Air

Green Your City : Go Green Srinagar Part 2 From Plastics to Pollution: India’s Killer Air Widely documented as having the world’s worst air quality, India is home to 13 of the world’s most polluted cities. After working with schools, temples and local municipalities, Go Green Srinagar kept their green momentum going as part of Earth Day Network-Indiaशहर GREEN करो – It’s Our Turn to Lead Contest. They  decided that air pollution needed to be put in check in the Srinagar Valley. Air pollution shortens the lives of 620,000 people each year in India. To get citizens moving, Go Green Srinagar hit them where it hurts the most: their wallets. They worked with the Srinagar Traffic Police Department to hold “Pollution Certificate Checking Day.” For hours, vehicles were stopped and nearly 60 vehicle owners were fined for improper certifications requiring them to visit auto shops that will equip or repair their cars. Catalytic converters are mandatory for modern cars; they work with the exhaust system of vehicles to reduce the output of carbon monoxide, unburnt hydrocarbons and nitrogen oxide molecules. These gases are the largest source of ground level ozone, causing intense smog typical of cities around India. The U.S Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) began requiring these critical pollution reducing devices in the late 1970’s under strict EPA regulations on toxic emissions reductions. Under the Central Motor Vehicles Rules in India, new vehicles owners are required to obtain a Pollution Under Control (PUC) certificate within a year from purchase. The PUC dicates the the car is drivable under emission norms directed by the Transportation Department. The penalties can be harsh once the fines add up, and continued noncompliance can result in the confiscation of the car by police. Many vehicles driven in India still predate catalytic converters and thus smog, without stricter regulations barring these cars on the road, will intensify. Life expectancy is already dropping by 3.2 years directly due to air pollution.  But with activism and policy changes that start with communities making changes in their city, India can make change.  The pollution and clean up entries from Go Green Srinagar awarded the NGO with second place in the   शहर GREEN करो – It’s Our Turn to Lead contest. From Plastics to Pollution-India’s Killer Air 2 From Plastics to Pollution-India’s Killer Air 1