Environmental Pollution — Efforts at Reducing Pollution


Dr. Ravi P. Bhatia – TRANSCEND Media Service

We live in a world today that is highly polluting. Be it air, be it rising levels of waters in oceans, be it the inexorable rise in atmospheric temperatures  — all these and other factors point out towards increasing levels of environmental pollution. The world is aware and world bodies such as   World Meteorological Organisation  that monitor  pollution are suggesting additional steps that must be taken by countries — both developed and developing to reduce, if not totally stop causes of atmospheric pollution.

One means of reducing pollution is to increase our dependence on solar energy . This is being effectively promoted by India and France, who are heading the International Solar Alliance (ISA) but this will only reduce pollution, not completely stop it. ISA  was launched in 2015 and has 114 member countries. Its main objective is to increase dependence on solar energy and thereby reduce pollution. Wind energy also helps, but its capacity is limited.

Pollution is being caused by industries which are essential for development of countries. Whereas some advanced countries — USA, Russia, China and some European nations have reached certain levels of industrialisation and thus may not promote increasing levels, many Asian, African and South American countries feel that they need greater industrialisation for  their overall development.

In addition, all over the world, transportation in the form of trucks, buses and personal vehicles — cars, bikes is  increasing. This and industrialisation result in emission of some poisonous gases like Carbon Monoxide, Hydrogen Sulphide etc.

However, the production of CNG (Compressed Natural Gas), biogas show promise of cleaner fuel both for industry and for domestic purposes. CNG and biogas are produced from municipal animal manure and domestic waste and together the two are known as bio- CNG. Their use reduces air pollution unlike the use of fossil fuels such as diesel and petroleum products. And they are being increasingly used in Sustainable and Affordable Transportation scheme (SATAT). It has been found that bio-CNG is a clean fuel that is being used in several schemes by the Government of India.

Also, in major cities like the capital of India — Delhi, one can see some buses that do not emit any polluting gases. This has been achieved by use of bio-CNG that is produced from agricultural and animal waste. In a major city of India — Indore, many buses ply on the bio-CNG fuel, and thus do not cause pollution like those that run on petroleum products.

Production of this bio- CNG and their use in buses is thus beneficial both from point of view of air pollution , as well as for maintenance of the bus engine. Several plants are being set up for producing this fuel. The cost of the fuel is also cheaper than conventional petroleum fuel. However, setting up a plant for producing the bio fuel is expensive and difficult to maintain. As a result, against the potential of production of over 50 million tons of the fuel only about 350 tons is currently being produced. Even the limited amount of production helps to run some buses in major cities like Delhi and Indore.

Efforts are continuing to increase production of this fuel that help reduce atmospheric pollution and are better maintainable. If the limited production in enhanced, it will be a win-win situation both in terms of pollution as well as in production costs. Serious efforts are continuing towards this objective.


Dr Ravi P Bhatia is a member of the TRANSCEND Network for Peace Development Environment, an educationist, Gandhian scholar and peace researcher. Retired professor, Delhi University. His new book, A Garland of Ideas—Gandhian, Religious, Educational, Environmental was published recently in Delhi. ravipbhatia@gmail.com

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This article originally appeared on Transcend Media Service (TMS) on 19 Jun 2023.

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