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In autumn and winter months, large scale crop residue burning in agriculture fields – a low cost alternative to mechanical tilling – is a major source of smoke, smog and particulate pollution.The Air (Prevention and Control of Pollution) Act was passed in 1981 to regulate air pollution and there have been some measurable improvements.Dust & Construction contribute about 45% to the air pollution in India, which is followed by Waste Burning.
India burns tenfold more fuelwood every year than the United States; the fuelwood quality in India is different from the dry firewood of the United States; and, the Indian stoves in use are less efficient, thereby producing more smoke and air pollutants per kilogram equivalent.
Some Indian taxis and auto-rickshaws run on adulterated fuel blends.
A rural aburo stove using biomass cakes, fuelwood and trash as cooking fuel.
Surveys suggest over 100 million households in India use such stoves (chullahs) every day, 2–3 times a day.
India is the world's largest consumer of fuelwood, agricultural waste and biomass for energy purposes.
From the most recent available nationwide study, India used 148.7 million tonnes coal replacement worth of fuel-wood and biomass annually for domestic energy use.Also ignored are the reduced life of vehicle engine and higher maintenance costs, particularly if the taxi, auto-rickshaw or truck is being rented for a daily fee.Adulterated fuel increases tailpipe emissions of hydrocarbons (HC), carbon monoxide (CO), oxides of nitrogen (NO) and particulate matter (PM).These cook stoves are present in over 100 million Indian households, and are used two to three times a day, daily.Some reports, including one by the World Health Organization, claim 300,000 to 400,000 people die of indoor air pollution and carbon monoxide poisoning in India because of biomass burning and use of chullahs.Clean burning fuels and electricity are unavailable in rural parts and small towns of India because of poor rural highways and limited energy generation infrastructure.Fuel wood and biomass burning is the primary reason for near-permanent haze and smoke observed above rural and urban India, and in satellite pictures of the country.Air pollution contributes to the premature deaths of 2 million Indians every year.In urban areas, most emissions come from vehicles and industry, whereas in rural areas, much of the pollution stems from biomass burning for cooking and keeping warm.Traditional fuel (fuelwood, crop residue and dung cake) dominates domestic energy use in rural India and accounts for about 90% of the total.In urban areas, this traditional fuel constitutes about 24% of the total.