Why is Bhopal Gas Tragedy Day Observed as National Pollution Control Day?

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NATIONAL POLLUTION CONTROL DAY 2022: Pollution is one of the biggest global threats we are facing right now. As per World Health Organization (WHO), around 2.4 billion people are exposed to air pollution. Bursting of firecrackers, vehicles on road, smoke from factories, burning of crops, gas leakages, and many other factors contribute to pollution.

According to the National Health Portal of India, around 7 million people across the globe die every year due to air pollution. December 2 is observed as National Pollution Control Day in India in memory of the lives lost in the disastrous Bhopal Gas Tragedy. The day focuses to create awareness about air pollution and the ways in which it can be prevented.

1984 BHOPAL GAS TRAGEDY: HISTORY

Identified as one of the biggest industrial disasters worldwide, the 1984 Bhopal Gas Tragedy claimed the lives of 25,000 people. On 2nd and 3rd December 1984, there was a chemical leak of 45 tons of dangerous gas, methyl isocyanate (MIC) from the insecticide plant of Union Carbide Corporation in Bhopal.

The poisonous gas drifted over the neighbourhoods and killed thousands. The survivors suffered respiratory problems, eye irritation, blindness and other health issues that resulted from the exposure to the toxic gas. The effects were seen for several years after the incident. The aftereffects of the tragedy caused increased cases of cancer and birth defects around the site of the accident.

Hence, in memory of those who lost their lives to the tragedy, National Pollution Control Day is observed on December 2 every year.

SIGNIFICANCE

National Pollution Control Day is observed to raise awareness about the impact of pollution and how hazardous it can be to our environment and people. The day aims to lay emphasis that every individual has a role to play in to fight against pollution. The main reason for the observance of the day is to reduce pollution levels and control industrial disasters. Many laws have been proposed by governments across the world to control and prevent pollution.

The objective of the day is to raise awareness, especially in the industries that contribute to air, water, soil and noise pollution. It is crucial to make people aware of pollution and in return help in keeping the environment clean.

The Government of India has made various laws to combat pollution. The main governing body, National Pollution Control Board (NPCB) conducts checks regularly to ensure proper implementation and execution of the environmental regulations.

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