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April 2018 Environment

  • India has 94 cities with toxic air, half of them in just four states: Maharashtra, Uttar Pradesh, Punjab, Himachal Pradesh 
    Every third city that failed to meet national air quality standards in India–where most people die of air pollution than any other nation–was in two of the country’s biggest states, Maharashtra and Uttar Pradesh, in five years to 2015, according to government data. 

    With 17 of 94 cities, Maharashtra had the highest number of cities identified by the Central Pollution Control Board (CPCB) as failing to meet national air-quality standards over five years to 2015, according to this reply to the Lok Sabha (lower house of Parliament) by Mahesh Sharma, minister of state for environment, on April 6, 2018. Maharashtra was followed by Uttar Pradesh (15), Punjab (8) and Himachal Pradesh (7). Half of the 94 cities were in these four states. 

    In 2015, 2.5 million of 10.3 million deaths in India due to non-communicable diseases (NCDs) were linked to pollution, according to a global study, India Spend reported on January 3, 2018. 

    Rising air pollution in cities is increasing incidences of chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, cancer, diabetes and other pollution-related ailments, said the study, which noted that 27% of Indians died of causes related to air pollution, exceeding the proportion who died similarly in China. 

    Low- and middle-income groups are the worst affected by pollution; 92% of deaths due to pollution occurred in that income group, India Spend reported on November 14, 2017. 

    Technically called “non-attainment cities”, the 94 cities were identified as part of the National Air Quality Monitoring Programme, under which 683 operating stations in 300 cities/towns across the country monitor sulphur dioxide, oxides of nitrogen, respirable suspended particulate matter (PM10) and fine particulate matter (PM2.5) for a day twice a week. 

  • Centre has notified the Plastic Waste Management (Amendment) Rules 2018
    Centre has notified the Plastic Waste Management (Amendment) Rules 2018. The amended Rules lay down that the phasing out of Multilayered Plastic (MLP) is now applicable to those MLP, which are non-recyclable, non-energy recoverable, or with no alternate use. 

    Environment Ministry in a release said, the amended rules also prescribe a central registration system for the registration of the producer, importer and brand owner. 

    The Rules also say that any mechanism for the registration should be automated and should take into account ease of doing business for producers, recyclers and manufacturers. 

  • International conference on Water, Environment and Climate Change in Kathmandu
    The first international conference on ‘Water, Environment and Climate Change: Knowledge Sharing and Partnership’ has started in Kathmandu. Vice President of Nepal Nanda Bahadur Pun inaugurated the conference on 10th April

    In his address, Vice President Pun stressed upon the need of water security and said that it should be given the top priority. 

    The 3 day conference is organised by the Department of Water Supply and Sewerage, Govt of Nepal in association with the Society of Public Health Engineers Nepal and Nepal Engineers Association. 

    The basic objective of the conference is to bring together professionals, academicians, researchers, entrepreneurs, government and non government institutions to discuss and deliberate on challenges, opportunities and strategies related to water and environmental issues. 

    More than 100 international participants from 20 countries including India participating in the conference.
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