Air pollution may be defined as the presence in or introduction of a substance into the air that has harmful or poisonous effects. Air pollution has serious health effects and is responsible for a large number of deaths in the country.

Listed below are some of the main causes of air pollution in India:

  1. Biomass and Fuel wood Burning: This is one of the main reasons behind the smoke or near permanent haze that engulfs urban and rural areas of India. Millions of households in India burn biomass and wood in chullahs, and this therefore is the leading cause of air pollution in India.
  1. Standard of Emissions: India leads the world in terms of vehicle emissions. Fumes from the exhausts of millions of two-wheelers, three-wheelers and four-wheelers fill the air, especially in the big cities and sometimes make it difficult to breathe.
  1. Adulteration of Fuel: Adulterated fuel blends are used by many taxis and auto-rickshaws in India. This probably explains why air pollution is getting worse by the day.
  1. Greenhouse Gas emissions: India is the third largest emitter of carbon dioxide in the world. With a population of 128 billion people, which is 17% of the world’s population, the country accounts for 5 percent of human-sourced carbon dioxide emissions.

In recent times, India has taken several measures to control air pollution. The country is tightening its regulatory norms and a lot is being done to bring the problem into sharp focus. There is an overall realization that the situation is grim and something needs to be done urgently. In this context, it becomes important for stakeholders to put their heads together and drive meaningful action on the issue.