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Air Pollution

  • ROOPA VIDHYA G , GAYATHRI V , AISHWARYA.S.R
  •       Air Pollution has been a major cause for concern in several developing countries around the globe. This issue gains more and more importance in India as several cities, including the Capital spiral into an irreversible state of worsened Air Quality, with Delhi being ranked No.1 among the most polluted cities in the world. Delhi's Air Quality Index(AQI) as measured in November 2019, has reached an alarming level of over 500 which falls under the 'severe plus' category. This deteriorating AQI has caused, and continues to cause several harmful repercussions to the health and well being of India's population, with 2.2 million children in Delhi ,(and many more across India) suffering irreversible lung damage in 2015 and over 80 lives lost every day to Air Pollution.
            While cities like Beijing have considerably reduced the effects of Air Pollution in their provinces, Delhi continues to choke on its smoggy air. The main reason for its inability to improve Air Quality is the lack of efficient monitoring of major miscreants like coal based power generation plants, construction activities and industrial emissions. While India has just 200 air quality monitors (37 in Delhi), experts have noted that the Country may need up to 8000 to 9000 of these systems. Industries need to be monitored 24/7 and the data should be publicized. Continuous and vigilant monitoring may be the only way to forestall the country's grim fate.

    1. School Going children:

      1. Children's immune systems have been lowered, with an increased risk of Respiratory diseases, epilepsy, cancer and lung damage.

      2. Schools have been closed on several days, and outdoor activities have been restricted, hindering the overall development of children and young adults.

    2. Adults:

      1. Air pollution has led to reduced lung capacity, with an increased risk of lung cancer among non-smoking adults and reduced life expectancy.

      2. High levels of smog have led to lower levels of visibility, making navigation and commutation difficult.

      3. Businesses have been closed down, especially for lower middle class construction workers, hawkers, etc., leading to great economic losses.

      4. Lowered visibility levels have led to delays and cancellations of flights leading to great inconveniences.

      5. Medical expenses have increased due to a rise in lung diseases.

  • Interview Audio Link:

    https://drive.google.com/file/d/15FO9vQPWi3nTiuuK6Z1AiuogvG1-O3C1/view?usp=drivesdk

  • ( DISCLAIMER: This is a work of fiction. Names, characters, businesses, places, events, locales, and incidents are either the products of the author's imagination or used in a fictitious manner. Any resemblance to actual persons, living or dead, or actual events is purely coincidental. )

    Amit had been a Pollution Control Board supervisor in Gandhinagar for the past 10 years. The Air Quality in the area had been steadily deteriorating over the past few years because of the various development activities in the region. The earnest effects by both the government and the public to curb unhealthy practices and contain the pollution levels in the region had not had any effects. The toxic air in the region began to take a toll on the health of the citizens of Gandhinagar . Students suffered as schools shut down and Office goers were forced to work from home. Gandhinagar went on to be rated as one of the most polluted cities in India.

    At this juncture, four students from Amrita School of Engineering, Gandhinagar decided to take on the challenge of effective pollutant-monitoring to curb the practices causing air pollution. They developed an efficient system that combined the technological advancements offered by the existing Air Quality Monitors with the mobility offered by Drones to provide continuous and optimized monitoring throughout the city. With the implementation of this new technology throughout the city, Amit's job became so much more easier and the identification of miscreants within the cities increased greatly. Within a significantly short span of time, the Air Quality in the region began improving, much to the celebration of the citizen's of Gandhinagar.

November 14, 2019

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