World’s 14 most polluted cities are in India: WHO

14 out of world’s 20 most polluted cities are in India: WHO

World’s 14 most polluted cities out of 20 are in India. Delhi and Varanasi are among the 14 Indian cities that figured in a list of 20 most polluted cities in the world in terms of PM2.5 levels in 2016, data released by the WHO showed.

The WHO data also said that nine out of 10 people in the world breathe air containing high levels of pollutants.

Other Indian cities that registered very high levels of PM2.5 pollutants were Kanpur, Faridabad, Gaya, Patna, Agra, Muzaffarpur, Srinagar, Gurgaon, Jaipur, Patiala and Jodhpur followed by Ali Subah Al-Salem in Kuwait and a few cities in China and Mongolia.

In terms of PM10 levels, 13 cities in India figured among the 20 most polluted cities of the world in 2016.

The World Health Organisation has called upon member-countries in its Southeast Asia region to aggressively address the double burden of household and ambient (outdoor) air pollution, saying the region, which comprises India, accounts for 34% or 2.4 million of the seven million premature deaths caused by household and ambient air pollution together globally every year.

Of the 3.8 million deaths caused by household air pollution globally, the region accounts for 1.5 million or 40% deaths, and of the 4.2 million global deaths due to ambient air pollution, 1.3 million or 30% are reported from the region, it said.

The PM2.5 includes pollutants like sulfate, nitrate and black carbon, which pose the greatest risk to human health.

World’sWHO’s global urban air pollution database measured the levels of fine particulate matter (PM10 and PM2.5) from more than 4,300 cities in 108 countries, according to which ambient air pollution alone caused some 4.2 million deaths in 2016, while household air pollution from cooking with polluting fuels and technologies caused an estimated 3.8 million deaths in the same period.

Since 2016, over 1,000 additional cities have been added to WHO’s database, which shows more countries are measuring and taking action to reduce air pollution than ever before.

“WHO estimates that around 7 million people die every year from exposure to fine particles in polluted air that penetrate deep into the lungs and cardiovascular system, causing diseases including stroke, heart disease, lung cancer, chronic obstructive pulmonary diseases and respiratory infections, including pneumonia,” the report said.

According to the report, more than 90% of air pollution-related deaths occur in low- and middle-income countries (including India), mainly in Asia and Africa, followed by low- and middle-income countries of the Eastern Mediterranean region, Europe and the Americas.

“Around 3 billion people — more than 40% of the world’s population — still do not have access to clean cooking fuels and technologies in their homes, the main source of household air pollution,” it said.

It said the WHO recognises air pollution is a critical risk factor for non-communicable diseases (NCDs), causing an estimated 24% of all adult deaths from heart disease, 25% from stroke, 43% from chronic obstructive pulmonary disease and 29% from lung cancer.

The report, however, stated countries are making efforts and taking measures and in this context, referred to India’s Pradhan Mantri Ujjwala Yojana, which it said, in just two years, has provided 37 million women living below the poverty line with free LPG connections to support them to switch to clean household energy use.

India targets to reach 80 million households by 2020.

All countries in the region are making efforts to expand availability of clean fuels and technologies, however, over 60% population do not have clean fuel. The combined effects of household air pollution and ambient air pollution become increasingly hard to address if not tackled early, Poonam Khetrapal Singh, regional director, WHO Southeast Asia, said.

“Air pollution needs to be brought under control with urgent and effective action. Non-communicable diseases are the leading cause of deaths globally and in the region, and air pollution contributes significantly to NCDs such as cardiovascular disease, respiratory disease and lung cancer.

“Cleaning up the air we breathe will help prevent NCDs, particularly among women and vulnerable groups such as children, those already ill and the elderly,” Ms. Singh said.

“Many of the world’s megacities exceed WHO’s guideline levels for air quality by more than 5 times, representing a major risk to people’s health,” Maria Neira, director of the Department of Public Health, Social and Environmental Determinants of Health at WHO, said, adding, there is an acceleration of political interest to deal with this global public health challenge.

“Air pollution threatens us all, but the poorest and most marginalised people bear the brunt of the burden. It is unacceptable that over 3 billion people — most of them women and children — are still breathing deadly smoke every day from using polluting stoves and fuels in their homes,” said Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, director-general of WHO.

Major sources of air pollution from particulate matter include inefficient use of energy by households, industry, agriculture and transport sectors, and coal-fired power plants. In some regions, sand and desert dust, waste burning and deforestation are additional sources of air pollution.

“Air pollution does not recognise borders. Improving air quality demands sustained and coordinated government action at all levels,” the WHO said.

-PTI, NEW DELHI, MAY 02, 2018

IndiGo cancels 47 flights with faulty engines

IndiGo cancels 47 flights after DGCA grounds planes with faulty engines

Budget carrier IndiGo has cancelled as many as 47 flights on 13 March, 2018 after the country’s aviation regulator DGCA grounded its eight A320Neo planes with faulty Pratt & Whitney engines, along with three such aircraft of GoAir.

IndiGo has cancelled 47 flights across its domestic network on March 13, the airline announced on its website. The flights that have been cancelled are from Delhi, Mumbai, Chennai, Kolkata, Hyderabad, Bangalore, Patna, Srinagar, Bhubaneswar, Amritsar, Srinagar and Guwahati, among others.

IndiGoThe Directorate General of Civil Aviation ( DGCA) cracked the whip after an IndiGo flight bound for Lucknow returned to Ahmedabad within 40 minutes of its getting airborne due to a mid-air engine failure on Monday.

Three other IndiGo A320Neo planes have been on the ground since February following similar engine problems.

Citing safety of aircraft operations, the Director of the DGCA, in the March 12 order, said that A320 Neos fitted with PW1100 engines beyond ESN 450 have been grounded with immediate effect. Three other IndiGo A320Neo planes have been on the ground since February following similar engine problems.

IndiGo has cancelled 47 flights across its domestic network on March 13, the airline announced on its website. The flights that have been cancelled are from Delhi, Mumbai, Chennai, Kolkata, Hyderabad, Bangalore, Patna, Srinagar, Bhubaneswar, Amritsar, Srinagar and Guwahati, among others. The Directorate General of Civil Aviation ( DGCA) cracked the whip after an IndiGo flight bound for Lucknow returned to Ahmedabad within 40 minutes of its getting airborne due to a mid-air engine failure on Monday.

On Monday, hundreds of passengers were stranded across the country as dozens of flights were cancelled by IndiGo and GoAir following the grounding of 11 planes. IndiGo operates about 1,000 flights daily.

IndiGo carries about 40 per cent of domestic flyers, while GoAir has a market share of around 10 per cent.

– PTI, 13 March, 2018

Smart Ganga City Scheme Launcehd in Ten Cities

Smart Ganga City Scheme Launched in Ten Cities

Union Minister for Water Resources, River Development and Ganga Rejuvenation Sushri Uma Bharti and Union Urban Development Minister Shri M Venkaiah Naidu launched Smart Ganga City Scheme today in ten important cities through video conference. These cities are – Haridwar, Rishikesh, Mathura-Vrindavan, Varanasi, Kanpur, Allahabad, Lucknow, Patna, Sahibgunj and Barrackpore. National Mission for Clean Ganga (NMCG) has chosen these cities in the first phase for infrastructure development for sewage treatment. This will be on hybrid annuity mode based on PPP model.
Smart Ganga City

Addressing the function from Ujjain the Union Minister for Water Resources, River Development and Ganga Rejuvenation Sushri Uma Bharti said that cooperation of Union Urban Development Ministry is key to the success of Namami Gange programme. She said learning from the past experience of gaga action plan her Ministry this time has gone for hybrid annuity mode based on PPP model. The Minister said district level mentoring committees will be constituted to monitor the speedy implementation of Namami Gange programme. The Minister said that though in the first phase only ten cities have been taken up but gradually more and more cities will be taken up. She said the involvement of district administration and municipal body is key to success of this program.

In his address from Hyderabad Union Urban Development Minister M Venkaiah Naidu said his Ministry is an integral part of this programme. He expressed the hope that Namami Gange programme having adopted hybrid annuity mode based on PPP model will be a great success.

The District Magistrates/Mayors of the ten chosen cities participating in the video conference appreciated the Namami Gange programme and promised the full support of state administration and local bodies for its success

Earlier, Shri Rajat Bhargav, Mission Director NMCG made a presentation on hybrid annuity mode based on PPP model to be adopted by NMCG for speedy implementation of Namami Gange programme.

-Ministry of Water Resources, 13-August, 2016

Gwalior 2nd, Allahabad 3rd, Patna 6th, Raipur 7th and Delhi 11th most polluted cities in the world

Urban air quality database; 

Gwalior 2nd, Allahabad 3rd, Patna 6th, Raipur 7th and Delhi 11th most polluted cities in the world

According to urban air quality database, four Indian cities are among the world’s 10 most polluted cities.

Delhi is not the most polluted city in the world any more, according to the World Health Organisation’s (WHO) urban air quality database released on Thursday.

In 2014 the Capital was ranked as the most polluted city in the world in terms of the PM 2.5 (particulate pollution), where WHO had monitored 1,600 cities.

The Capital now stands at 11th among 3,000 cities in 103 countries in terms of PM 2.5 and 25th in terms of PM 10 levels. However, four Indian cities are among the world’s 10 most polluted cities, 10 out top 20 are also in India.

Zabol in Iran is the most polluted city in the world according to the database. Gwalior and Allahabad are a close second and third in terms of PM 2.5, which is associated with more serious health impacts than PM 10. Patna and Raipur rank 6th and 7th.

WHO used data from various government and research organisations for the database which is based on ground measurements of annual mean concentrations of particulate matter (PM 10 and PM 2.5) and “aims at representing an average for the city or town as a whole, rather than for individual stations. “Years of measurements range from 2010 to 2015, unless the latest available data was older,” the report said.

WHO states that as urban air quality declines, the risk of stroke, heart disease, lung cancer, and chronic and acute respiratory diseases, including asthma, increases for the people who live in them.

NEW DELHI, May 12, 2016

Mumbai Central Station Gets Free Hi Speed Wi-Fi From Google. Allahabad, Jaipur, Patna, and Ranchi Are Up Next

Mumbai Central Station Gets From Google.

Allahabad, Jaipur, Patna, and Ranchi Are Up Next

A lot of Indians travel by Railways and thus have to spend a lot of time on the railway stations. As many of them don’t have internet on their phones, they get bored and waste their time, sometimes even hours doing nothing. However, this will be a thing of the past soon.

Everyone craves for a free Wi-Fi. What if we get a free high-speed Wi-Fi at our disposal? You’ll jump in excitement, right? So will I.

Remember when Google CEO, our Sundar Pichai announced to provide free Wi-Fi services at 400 railway stations across India? This will be in partnership with Indian Railways and RailTel.

They’ve already started working on this project, and Mumbai railway station is the first to get free Wi-Fi from Google. The APN name is ‘RailWire’.

Google plans to cover a total of 100 railway stations by the end of the year. While Google didn’t share any detail about the speed of the Wi-Fi and the list of the other stations, it did share that Allahabad, Jaipur, Patna, and Ranchi are the next in line to get free Wi-Fi service.

The free Wi-Fi will not only let you browse the web, but will also let you download stuff and stream videos online. You can also download videos via the YouTube app so you can watch them later.

How It Works?

how RailWire works

To enjoy this free Wi-Fi service, all you have to do is connect to ‘RailWire’ network, open railwire.co.in on your mobile browser, enter your mobile number, and verify it by entering the OTP that you’ll receive on your phone. That’s it!

You would be able to access this free Wi-Fi service on up to 3 devices including your mobile phone. The only requirement is that you must be using an Indian mobile number to be able to access this free Wi-Fi service.

As this Wi-Fi is entirely free to use with no limitations, some restrictions will be put in place to avoid its misuse. You will notice a drop in speed after your first free hour of usage, but you will still be able to use the internet.

“Most people in India do not have high-speed connectivity. Sadly, connections here are among the slowest in Asia. According to some sources, only around 2 to 4 million households, in a country of 1.3 billion people, have a connection fast enough to stream an HD movie,” said Gulzar Azad, Head of Access Programs at Google India, in a blog post.

Google wants to change the way Indians interact with the internet. It is a painful process to browse the internet at slow speeds. That’s why Google is offering free, fast, and open internet to all Indians via this RailWire service.

Upon completion, this RailWire project will be the largest public Wi-Fi project in India. By providing free Wi-Fi services at 400 Railway stations in India, Google will be contributing a lot to the Digital India campaign.