While taking example of Delhi-NCR region, critically elucidate the effects of swift urban development over urban climate and public health.

Published: October 26, 2017

World is witnessing rapid increase in urbanization due to growth of  secondary and tertiary activities based economy and are land of opportunities for millions with hope to have better standard of living. Urbanisation has also been accompanied by certain undesirable consequences like pollution and related adverse health effects.

  • Rampant construction in cities leads rise in temperature and dust in the atmosphere.
  • Studies have found that in Delhi-NCR region  there was an increase of three-five degree Celsius in land surface temperature and two-three degree Celsius in air temperature accompanied by the almost simultaneous increase in the urbanised built-up area, which went up by 17 per cent in five decades.
  • The urban heat island has become a growing concern and is increasing over the years
  • The continued thermal stress for the people especially during the night is helping to widen the transmission window for diseases such as malaria 
  • In region like Delhi-NCR, wind speeds are weak leading to slower dispersion of pollution made worse by erratic building plans, which do not account for wind channels and pose obstacles for natural wind paths over the city.
  • Residents are forced to breathe air laden with high levels of PM2.5, PM10 etc , causing respiratory illness, heart diseases etc
  • Spawning urban areas have encroached upon the water bodies, according to studies, the fast pace of urbanisation has led to 40 per cent decrease in water bodies in the region from 1972 to 2014 resulting in water crisis. Much of the population does not have access to safe drinking water.

Government must embark on proactive policies and action oriented programmes instead of last minute knee jerk reactions to environmental issues.

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