In Allahabad, northern India, a megacity of millions is sprouting up at the confluence of the Yamuna and Ganges rivers. For millennia, Hindu devotees have flocked to these holy banks to participate in a ritual cleansing known as the Kumbh Mela; this year’s Maha Kumbh Mela is a particularly auspicious iteration in cycles of these pilgrimages, which occur four times every 12 years. In 2001, nearly 70 million flocked to the Ganges’ shores here.
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People in India use those rivers to bathe, wash dishes, wash clothes, dump feces, dump garbage, urinate, etc.. Even so, those same rivers are used for drinking and cooking. The pollution in those rivers is atrocious, and has been associated with causing disease, illness, and death. Events like the Kumbh Mela only worsen the condition of those rivers, and thereby put the Indian populace at further risk.
@mrbomb13 yes I know. and people in the US buy new combustion engines. People are crazy, huh Mrbomb
While it's true that Americans buy (presumably what you're referring to) automotive combustion engines, India's greenhouse gas emissions are far worse than in the U.S.. Consider the following:
1) The 2012 Environmental Performance Index ranked India as having the poorest relative air quality out of 132 countries. (http://epi.yale.edu/dataexplorer/indicatorprofiles?ind=eh.air)
2) Fuel wood, agri waste and biomass cake burning releases over 165 million tonnes of combustion products into India's indoor and outdoor air every year. To place this volume of emission in context, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) of the United States estimates that fire wood smoke contributes over 420,000 tonnes of fine particles throughout the United States – mostly during the winter months.
3) Of the four major Indian cities, air pollution was consistently worst in Delhi, every year over 5 year period (2004–2008). Kolkata was a close second, followed by Mumbai. Chennai air pollution was least of the four. (http://cpcbenvis.nic.in/airpollution/finding.htm)
So, in summary, while pollution in the U.S. could be lower, that same kind of pollution is far worse in India.