India’s booming economy has long had a dark side in the form of rampant pollution. Like China, the country has gone full throttle on a production-oriented society while ignoring rising pollution and illnesses associated with pollutants. Now, in a study of 132 countries, India has reached the bottom of the list of dirty air countries or, to put a more positive spin, the top spot on the most dirty countries. Nevertheless, the government is not concerned and assured the public that this is really not that bad.
The annual study, the Environmental Performance Index, found runaway pollution, particularly in the form of fine particulate matter. This includes PM 2.5, or the 2.5 micron size of the particulates, which are 500% above the level considered safe for human beings.
The listing also includes overall pollution where India came in at 125 out of 132.
Yet, D. Saha, a scientist in the “Air Lab” at India’s Central Pollution Control Board, insisted that the air pollution in India is really not like those of other countries and that no comparison can be made due to India’s “different terrain.” He insisted that the study should not raise “undue alarm.” Sounds like India came only in the top ten of the cleanest countries as opposed to the dirtiest. Saha, however, was finally honest when he admitted that “we have other pressing problems like poverty, focus on them.” That is the scientist entrusted with dealing with pollution.
Source: NY Times