While India is proving itself to be a major powerhouse economically its environment is suffering in a major way. Air pollution, water pollution and garbage are serious problems in India. These are causing degradation of land, resource depletion, environmental degradation, public health, loss of biodiversity, loss of resilience in ecosystems, and the threat on the safety of the poor (Chandrappa). Pollution is so common in India for a variety of reasons. Its quick economic growth, high rising population, local climate and lack of governmental interaction all accumulate to making it one of the most polluted countries in the world. .
2. Air Pollution.
Major sources of air pollution in India include fuel wood and biomass burning, fuel adulteration, vehicle emission and traffic congestion. This has caused India to be third for greenhouse gases and 30% lower lung function compared to Europeans (Van Der Hoeven). Wood and biomass burning is the primary reason for the nearly permanent hazy smoke that exists above most rural and urban cities (Das). Currently there are over 100 million challah stoves in India (Das). These cook stoves burn fuel wood or biomass cakes and are used two to three times a day, daily. Since the majority of Indians still use dried cow dung, agricultural wastes, firewood, and other traditional fuels for cooking, it pollutes the air with several toxic substances. Major chemicals like NOx, SOx, PAHs, polyaromatics, formaldehyde, carbon monoxide as well as high levels of smoke and other air pollutants are released from the stoves. The World Health Organization claims that between 300,000 and 400,000 people have died from indoor air pollution in India (Green Stoves to Replace Chullahs). .
Air pollution has become so bad in India that it can now be seen from space (Air Pollution Fifth Leading Cause of Death in India). The Asian brown cloud looks like a giant brown stain that covers most of South Asia and the Indian Ocean.