As the country is under lockdown for at least three weeks to prevent the spread of the novel coronavirus, the thalassaemia patients are not getting blood donors and are also unable to easily travel for treatment and therapy.
But to deal with the problem of toxic air, the country needs a better plan as pollution will rise again when the COVID-19 pandemic is over and economic activity and daily life returns to normal.
Narendra Modi must execute an elaborate and effective plan to assure the country that government will take care of the jobs and businesses, while fighting this health emergency in these testing times.
As the financial losses caused by COVID 19 all over the world will drain resources, it will also affect the political will – particularly of rich nations who have pledged to provide money to the poor and developing countries – to combat global warming.
Although, India has been arguing that its per capita carbon emissions are far less than any of these countries, it is still the fourth largest emitter of carbon in the world after China, US and EU.
With a 7,500-kilometre coastline, more than 10,000 big and small glaciers in the Himalayan region, and different agro-climatic zones, India is highly sensitive to global warming.
More than 63% of India’s installed power generation capacity today comes from coal-fired plants but most of these power stations are not fitted with pollution control technology. Although the central government revised emissions standards in 2015, no power plant had complied by the end of 2017, leading the government to extend the deadline to 2022.
Environmentalists are worried that Lakhwar and Vyasi projects will further damage the little untouched part of Yamuna and perish the aquatic life and biodiversity of the watercourse.
While the government seems to have no effective disaster management plan in place to control such forest fires in the Himalayas (or elsewhere in the country) occurring every year, the total loss of forest wealth has gone beyond 2,000 hectares.