Acid bath Published on February 27, 1998, Source : Down to Earth India is on the verge of an ecological disaster, says a World Bank (wb) report. By the year 2020, the study predicts that sulphur dioxide emissions in the country would increase by 315 per cent. The study, "Rains-Asia: An Assessment Model for Acid Deposition in Asia," says that this increase is much above the critical load level. If the same trend continues for 23 years, then China, India and several other South Asian countries will be afflicted by sulphuric acid deposition on its water bodies, forests and buildings. Sulphur dioxide reacts with the moisture in air and forms sulphuric acid. High concentration of sulphuric acid in acid rain makes soil infertile and unsuitable for agriculture. The rain can pose major health risks for humans. The study, based on model simulation, warns that emissions for Asia as a whole will register an increase of 228 per cent. While China's emissions of sulphur dioxide is set to increase by 177 per cent in the same period, Pakistan's emissions will be the highest in the region showing an increase of 1126 per cent.