role of an individual in prevention of pollution

Over population and pollution are potent ecological forces impinging upon man by affecting the quality of the environment. All efforts aimed at bringing more and more people above the poverty line actually increase the pressure on natu­ral resources.

Careless management of natural resources is disrupting the eco­logical processes so much so that earth’s life supporting capacity is being sub­stantially threatened.

Unmindful exploitation of the finite resources of the bio­sphere has a severe ecological backlash because no development is sustainable unless it is environmentally compatible. Environmental compatibility demands that the economic and social develop­ment should be linked with environmental management.

Articles 48.A and 51.A of our constitution provide for environmental protection. According to the National Committee of Environment-Planning and Co-ordina­tion, the framework for environmental protection aims at:

(a) Control of environmental pollution

(b) Conservation of natural resources

(c) Land management

(d) Development of non polluting sources of energy

(e) Environmental education

(f) Environmental laws.

Pollution is the burning issue of the day at the global level. A combined effort to control pollution has to be made by all government agencies, technologists, in­dustrialists, agriculturists and last but not the least the common man.

An international conference on “Human Environments” was held in Stock­holm in 1971, to emphasise the need to control pollution.

Several measures were recommended by the scientists participating in the conference, e.g.:

(a) The first step should be to identify those causes of pollution that have glo­bal implications, and to devise protective measures to be adopted.

(b) The second step should be to find out the carrying capacity of the environ­ment and reduce the emission of the major sources of pollution.

(c) The third step should be to find a neutralizer for each type of pollutant.

(d) The fourth step should be to ensure that anti-pollution measures are adopted by all industries.

(e) The fifth step should be the identification of areas where the cause of pollu­tion is poverty and lack of environmental education. Contamination of food and water are the basic causes of pollution in such areas.

(f) Most important is initiation of adequate research to devise measures for controlling pollution.

Environmental monitoring is urgently required for controlling pollution. This involves:

(a) Careful scrutinisation of the environmental characteristics.

(b) Laying down the standards of environmental quality

(c) Regular assessment of the above mentioned environmental characteristics.

(d) Keeping track of the changes in the environmental characteristics and edu­cating people about the pollution due to these changes.

(e) Devising measures to combat the menace of pollution.

(f) Enacting environmental laws and taking legal action against environmen­tal offenders.

Efforts are required to be made by each individual to control pollution. These efforts include:

(a) Installation of proper sewage disposal methods.

(b) Dumping of non biodegradable wastes in low lying areas.

(c) Installation of gobar gas plants in areas of high availability of cow dung.

(d) Reduction of smoke emission and treatment of chimney smoke to remove solid carbon particles.

(e) Judicious use of fertilisers, pesticides and detergents (Detergents of low- level phosphate content are less harmful).

(f) Growing plants like Pyrus (apple), Pinus (chir) and Vitis (grapes) is advo­cated because of their capability of metabolizing gaseous nitrogenous pol­lutants like nitrogen dioxide etc. and plants like coleus, ficus (banyan) can fix Carbon monoxide.

Skilled personnel with know-how to tackle the problems arising from pollution and for devising environmental pollution control measures are working in many institutions in India. Important ones amongst them are:

(a) National Environmental Engineering Research Institute (NEERI), Nagpur.

(b) Bhaba Atomic Research Centre (BARC), Mumbai

(c) National Committee of Environmental Planning and Co-ordination (NCEPC), New Delhi.

(d) Central Drug Research Institute (CDRI), Lucknow.

(e) Councils of Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR).

(f) Central Public Health Engineering Research Institute (CPHERI), Nagpur.

Scientists have rightly said that, ‘in the course of our progress from one age to another, we have simply passed from a say-age to sew-age.