Health is Wealth
Hello and welcome once again to Electrical India. By the time you get this issue in your hands, the celebration of World Health Day would be over, which is observed every year on the 7th of April to mark the founding of the World Health Organisation. Incidentally, just about two months from now on June 5th is the World Environment Day, which is observed to raise awareness throughout the world to take corrective environment action to save our only habitable planet, Earth. Why am I discussing about world health day and world environment day in Electrical India?
Last month US president Trump ordered demolishing an array of Obama’s policies on global warming, which includes emissions rules for power plants. He wants to roll back the Obama’s Clean Power Plan, which was aimed to cut emissions in US power plants to below 2005 levels by 2030. China, the world’s biggest polluter, which had backed the former president’s plan then, and wanted India too to be a part of signatory, will now retaliate with its own plan that would include setting up of more power plants run by coal. Where will this end?
Back home in Maharashtra, the government made it mandatory for all companies and real estate industry located in a radius of 300 kms from a thermal power plant to use fly ash in construction. The state produces nearly 30 lakh tones of fly ash every year, a third of which is dumped, increasing pollution. Overall, in India nearly 100 metric tonnes of fly ash is generated every year, the main cause of pollution. So the step taken by the government is in right direction. But the question is why should we allow generation of such large quantity of fly ash? The quality of coal that is used in our power plants is one reason.
But if one goes by the strictures imposed by the Comptroller and Auditor General (CAG) on the state government, which is being examined by the Public Affairs Committee, power plants run in the state generate close to 40% fly ash as against the international norm of 4%. The utilization of fly ash is still very low in India compare to some European countries. If one goes by the reports appearing in a section of press, the CAG has said in its report that people staying close to these power plants are at great risk.
Economists say if the economy of a country improves, so does the health of its citizens. But the exact opposite is also true. Only if people are healthy can a nation grow as more and more healthy people would be able to do more effective and quality work.
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