Green City Will Keep You Healthy And Employed, Says Study
If global warming, depleting water resources and changing climatic conditions is not enough to make you believe that it is time to switch to a more sustainable living, the University of Leeds in Britain has come out with a research with an inference that spending money on improved public transport could create up to 23 million extra jobs while promoting green infrastructure will boost productivity and health. The teams of researchers have arrived at this conclusion after analyzing more than 700 papers on the impact of low-carbon infrastructure on cities around the world.
The other findings suggest that converting new and existing buildings into energy-efficient space can result in generating 16 million jobs. It should not be forgotten that by 2050, two in three people will be living in urban area, with a major boom concentrated in India.
What India should note
While the intention of switching to green is strong, a majority of the policy decisions are stuck due to bureaucratic hurdles or legal roadblocks. For instance, the national capital is awaiting its green fleet since ages but the Delhi government plan to add 1,000 electric buses with the funds collected from diesel trucks as an environment compensation charge is nowhere to be found. Moreover, the Supreme Court-appointed committee found too many loopholes in the plan as there is no supporting infrastructure or strategy to deal with the challenges that would come up with e-buses.
Apart from this, the Smart City mission and Atal Mission for Urban Rejuvenation and Transformation (AMRUT) which intends to create sustainable cities with citizen-friendly transit and infrastructure are far from reality. So far, only 7 per cent of the total budget has been spent on smart city mission while only 0.38 per cent funds have been utilized for AMRUT cities since past three years.
The launch of National Clean Air Action Program (NCAP) is one of the major steps in the direction of combatting the rising pollution level but its implementation is a big challenge. For instance, In China, public anger prompted the government to declare war on pollution in 2013. Similarly, when London crossed a legal limit of monitoring nitrogen dioxide, the government declared a National Health Emergency. There is no doubt in the fact that Indians are complacent towards environmental degradation. Nevertheless, the NCAP, if and when implemented will lead to 50-60 per cent reduction in the pollution as the entire strategy has been formed in line with the recommendations sent to Ministry of Environment by Louisiana State University.
Though India was the host nation of the World Environment Day celebrated every year on June 5 with the theme ‘Beat Plastic Pollution’, the irony is India alone consumed 1,78,00,000 tonne of plastic in 2017, highest in the past three decades.