Urban Clutter-Reasons, Solutions, Need, Development


  • What is Urban Clutter?
  • Reasons for Urban Clutter
  • Solutions for Urban Clutter 
  • 100 Smart Cities of India 
What is Urban Clutter?

The problem faced by urban cities can be come under urban clutter.

Reasons of urban clutter?

Critically examine the main causes and consequences of urban air pollution in India. What efforts have been made  and what needs to be done to address this problem? 

Air pollution in India remains one of the key challenges. Air pollution is defined in terms of gases and suspended and respirable particulate matter like carbon dioxide, methane, sulphur and nitrogen oxides, PM 2.5 and PM 10. Thirteen of twenty most air-polluted cities are in India. Delhi is most notorious amongst Indian cities.

Major reasons are:

1. Fuelwood and biomass burning. Most Indian homes in rural areas use wood or biomass cakes in their chullhas. Besides, in winter and autumn seasons farmer burn their residue stocks rather than mechanical tilling. This also causes the Big Brown Cloud which delays the monsoon. 

The solution here is to extend electricity to rural areas and provide them with cleaner fuels like biogas ( whose slurry also makes excellent fertilizer).

2. Fuel adulteration. While traffic congestion is one of the major causes, it is aggravated due to mixing of cheap ingredients to fuel whenever prices rise. This situation arises also due to differential taxing regimes over hydrocarbons which is not in tune with air pollution concerns. For example gasoline is taxed more than kerosene. Earlier many vehicles did not use unleaded petrol, catalyctic converters and even today the vehicles non-compliant to Bharat Stage 4 are plying roads.

The solution here is to make vehicular pollution standards strictly applicable, tax petrol more to fetch money to build public means of transport and make all public vehicles run on cleanrr fuels like CNG.

3. Greenhouse gases. India is third largest emitter of carbon dioxide and mostly it comes from power sector and heating. Methane results from landfills and waste disposal. Decreasing green cover is a huge concern.

The solution here is to replace coal-fired or gas-fired plants with better technologies. Treatment of exhaust must be done before releasing from chimneys.

4. Other factors are Chlorofluorocarbons from cooling machines and miscellaneous factors like Diwali festivals.

Consequences if air pollution are drastic effects in health and productivity. Respiratory diseases like asthma, bronchitis and lung cancer, asbestosis, etc are common. Over young people the effects are autism and stunted growth. Agricultural productivity decrease as well.

The Central Pollution Control Board (CPCB) monitors the air quality standards periodically. But unfortunately it is below standards accepted.
The Air ( Prevention and Control of pollu5ion) Act was passed in 1981 but a lot needs to be done specially in creating awareness and in ensuring green cover.
--- by Batman 

In 2013, the WHO found that India had 13 of the 20 cities in the world with the most polluted air [World Leader in Air pollution]


High vehicle density and no effective regulation

Poor state of public transport

Narrow streets, chaotic traffic [unplanned and congested urban infrastructure] leading to less efficiency and more air pollution

Population stress due to skewed and lopsided development of various parts of the country.

Pollution is still not seen as a political issue

heavy reliance on diesel vehicles that produce black carbon aerosols.

lack of dedicated lanes for cyclists [The use of bicycles, too, is both fraught and hazardous]

Chief air pollutants

carbon dioxide

carbon monoxide

nitric oxide (NO)

nitrogen oxides (NOx, highly reactive gases)


sulphur dioxide



Smog and poor visibility

extremely tiny particulates that are more dangerous because they can penetrate deep into the lungs to cause illness and even death.

chronic respiratory diseases

reduces life expectancy and more burden on public health sector

What has govt done in this regard

Namesake steps taken

Continuous Emissions Monitoring Systems (CEMS) for real time monitoring of environment

Bharat stage-IV emission norms have been implemented

Mass emission standards (Bharat Stage III) have been notified for two, three wheeler and diesel driven vehicles

Supply of improved diesel and gasoline.

Operating Compressed Natural Gas (CNG) mode public transport in Delhi.

Central Pollution Control Board and State Pollution Control Boards are implementing the Air (Prevention and Control of Pollution) Act 1981 to restore air quality.

A mutually time targeted programme is implemented under Corporate Responsibility for Environment Protection (CREP).

Special drives for prevention and control of pollution in 17 categories of highly polluted industries.

Environment Pollution (Prevention and Control) Authority appointed by the Supreme Court of India

How to control Air pollution in urban centers

regulate the number and nature of vehicles.

different policy carrots (better public transport and more planned urban environments with reduced commuting needs) being combined with sticks (higher taxation and tighter regulation of the number of vehicles, stricter emission limits, and so on).

A pollution tax such as the coal cess

improve the accuracy and coverage of pollution monitoring, both in ambient air and at source

--- by Manjunath 


- Vehicular pollution. Large density of vehicles on Indian roads. Traffic congestion , slow and idle traffic produce more pollutants than free flowing traffic
- Biomass and Bio fuel burning in rural areas
- Lack of proper solid waste disposal mechanism. Waste is often burnt in roadsides emitting poisonous gasses
- Coal fired Power stations 
- Adulteration of petrol and diesel with substandard fuels
- Green house Gasses. India is the third largest emitter of GHG


- health costs : respiratory and cardiovascular diseases. There is an increase in asthma in children over the recent years
Decrease in Life expectancy by almost 3 years
- Environmental Costs: Global warming

Efforts Made:

- Formation of Air Quality Index, making pollution levels easily understandable by common man
- Review of the functioning of NPCB and SPCB by TSR subramaniam committee

Policy Response:

- Improve accuracy and coverage of pollution monitoring by Opening more monitoring stations 
- Use Continuous Emission Monitoring System (CEMS) to produce complete and accurate pollution data
- Stringent registration and pollution Checks on vehicles and public transport
- Move towards Civil penalties. Current environment law prescribe criminal penalties for offenders , which is considered to be too harsh and often resorted to in the case of the worst polluters
- Pollution Tax based on Polluter Pays principle. For e.g. coal cess levied was a good start
- market based solutions like Emission Trading Systems is also used world over
--- by Pria 

If something will end life in earth will be either Pollution or Population. Both are man-made and can be controlled by man only. Hence, we know both causes and consequences. Some Cause and Consequences are:

(1.) High no. of Vehicles led to urban pollution, traffic jam, deteriorating health of poors dwelling by road side, health impact of men(earning member of society).

(2.) Often urban areas are adjoined by agricultural lands, Here after harvesting, farmers burn the chaffs and left over husk in the field. This led to smoky cloud in urban area also. Punjab/Haryana govt banned it. But it’s still prevalent. Strict implementation and ethanol making through gust/chaffs should be encouraged.

(3.) Industrial pollution are other main reason. Strict penalty for more polluting industries, carbon and green tax regime.

Efforts already made:

(1.) CNG buses, metro and local in big cities are already there. This has to expanded to tier-2 cities where it is economical viable. Also, public transport has to be made women friendly and clean to encourage everyone to use it.

(2.) Enlarging Pollution Control Act to determine which industry of which capacity can do limited amount of pollution. Already CPCB and SPCB are taking steps toward it. License granting to only industries who adhere to latest machinery and pollution control measures.

(3.) Yearly checkup of automobiles for heavy transport, autorikshas otherwise license would be revoked.

When we know both cause and consequences, we must take steps to secure healthy future of us and our planet.

---- by Mithrandir 

---With the increasing congestion in urban areas, the extent of pollution is also reaching new heights. Such extent of pollution is creating problems on both environmental and social front, with the increasing greenhouse gas production and respiratory diseases, respectively.

1. Increasing traffic on road, with harmful gases being emitted in the atmosphere all day long.
2. No proper regulation of waste disposal, with every roadside becoming a dustbin.
3. Reducing green covers in cities to expand residential/ industrial areas
4. No self realization on part of the citizens, to help in keeping their surroundings clean.

1. More emission of greenhouse gases
2. Increase in incidence of respiratory diseases
3. Downgrading of nation’s image in front of tourists, which can affect the nation’s economy in the long run
4. Noise pollution near hospitals affects the health of the patients
5. The unregulated waste disposal pollutes the groundwater too
---The Air (Prevention and Control of Pollution) Act of 1981 was placed to regulate air pollution and has given some measurable results.
---The recently initiated “Swach Bharat Abhiyan” is a commendable step of the govt to ensure a cleaner India. Also, SC has issued orders to make “No Honking” zones in the capital, to protect the patients from unnecessary noise. 
---Other than this, citizens should also be aware of the benefits of keeping their surrounding clean, because a cleanliness drive will remain incomplete without the participation of the common man.
--- by Rupali 

Why slums are considered as ‘problems’ in urban regions? Examine why slums have developed in many Indian cities and also critically comment if they should be treated as important stakeholders in urban economy or should be eliminated to beautify cities.

Slums are considered as problem in urban regions for multiple reasons:

1) Poverty: This section is extremely poor and doesn't have even basic amenities
like toilet facilities, as a result they use public places for their daily

2) Crime and Diseases: They are generally breeding ground for crime, delinquency and

3) Low human development index and illegal migrants: These areas have abysmally low
human development levels as well as occupied by many illegal immigrants, which
is often threat to safety and security of urban population.

The slums have developed in many Indian cities due to following reasons:

1) Unplanned Industrial development: The Urban areas are not planned in India,
most of the industry have flourished in limited areas only. As a result, to
many people have started living around limited habitable place.

2) Migration: Due to very few urban places, there is a heavy migration happening
in limited industrial places.

3) Bad transport and Infrastructure: Due to slow and bad transport facilities, the
clustered population can't be spread in wider and open spaces

4) Government policy and politics: Most of the Governments have turned a blind eye
towards slum due to political gains, vote bank and unwillingness to put any
effort rehabilitate the slum population.

The slum population is very important for urban economy for the following reasons

1) Economic center: they are the hub of many small and micro urban industrial
activities, eg. Dharavi leather market

2) Labour force: These areas provide labour force for many manufacturing and other
urban industries

However, there is a need to uplift this marginalized and vulnerable section of the
society through proper education, rehabilitation, providing amenities, health
facilities and spreading awareness like birth control. NGOs like Teach for
India, Pratham and institute like TISS can be the back bone for such changes.
--- by Deepti 

Slums are associated with disease, crime, over crowding, low standard of living, prostitution and mafias. Mostly because of compulsions and not by choice. They are unplanned and hence pose administrative problems. They reduce aesthetic value of our cities and reputation of our nation as a whole.

we must develop our slums so that they will be transformed. They are stakeholders f urban society as majority of constructor workers and manual labor are commonly being derived out of our slums. All that a slum dweller wants is an opportunity to better his/her situation. Once we provide it, the problem of slums can be eliminated for ever. But a comprehensive planning is needed for that.
--- by joseph

Solution for urban clutter?

We engage, educate and encourage the citizens of the country to adopt air friendly measures in the interest of the country and its children.

Air friendly measures

Plant trees
Switch off your car at red lights or when idle 
Use public transport as much as possible
Keep your vehicle's pollution level in control
Use electricity judiciously
Prefer car pooling 

100 Smart cites of India

The recent Indian government has promised to create hundred smart cities across the country. India partnered with japan in this regard and some corporate has also shown interest in the project. But critics have something else to say.

Urban challenge , the need to create new cites, need of better urban development, challenges of urbanization.  

Secretary of Urban Development
Secretary of Housing and Urban Development
House and Urban Development 
Urban Development Graduate Programs 
Secretary of housing & urban development 
Urban Development 
Urban Development Degree
International Development 
Development India 
City Planning 
Business Development 

Urban clutter reasons end here with solutions from general public, please comment your views below. 


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