– by Shefali Gautam
Surprisingly, the sources which are freely available and are pre-requisite for our survival are the most polluted today. Yes, you heard it right, Soil, Water and Air the three essential requirements for human beings’ existence are pernicious. Believe me, the current situation is grisly and it demands immediate on-ground action, mere dialogues won’t solve the prevailing crisis.
Current Air Quality in Delhi is blood-curdling. One of the biggest problems Delhi is facing today is dangerously high levels of toxic smog. As winter is coming, the problem of smog will again rise. Last year pollution levels hit its worst, the level rose to 500 in some parts of Delhi. In some parts of Delhi, pollution levels even hit 654. This happened during the last year’s Christmas Eve. Also amongst the top 14 polluted cities in the world, our national capital proudly stood at number six.
Delhi air pollution level has hit the EMERGENCY button multiple times and every time the concerned civic body has failed to counter it completely. However, blaming the government for everything is not the solution. As we the humans are causing the pollution most, so technically we are the ones who should behave responsibly first and then demand action from the government. The pollutants in the air are fatal for our health as they can go deep into the respiratory zone and reach the lungs and further cause health diseases like Pulmonary cancer, stroke, Asthma attacks, lung irritation and so on.
“We’re running the most dangerous experiment in history right now, which is to see how much carbon dioxide the atmosphere can handle before there is an environmental catastrophe.”— Elon Musk
To curb the alarming air pollution in Delhi, the government has taken a few steps like the opening of the Eastern and Western peripheral, reducing the usage of diesel-based power generators, effort to increase the forest cover and closure of thermal power stations in Rajghat and Badarpur and so on.
The Central Road Research Institute (CRRI) conducted the study on behalf of the Delhi government’s environment department and found out that the Eastern Peripheral Expressway, which was launched in May 2018, has brought down vehicular pollution in Delhi by at least 7%.
The Minister for Road Transport & Highways, Nitin Gadkari said, ‘’Delhi will be completely free of air and water pollution in the next three years. The government had taken up projects worth Rs 50,000 crore to decongest Delhi and these projects will make Delhi free of air and water pollution in the next three years. ‘’
This year rainfall in and around brought the capital’s air quality Index to the “good” condition, while PM 2.5 levels, recorded at 15 by the US Embassy and 17 by Safar, were the lowest this year.
As per the analysis by the NGO, Centre for Science and Environment (CSE), the annual air quality data recorded by the Central Pollution Control Board (CPCB) mentioned that Delhi faces the daunting challenge of 65 percent reduction from the current baseline to meet the clean air standards for PM 2.5.
To further combat the deadly air pollution the central government launched a five-year action plan with a tentative target of 20-30% reduction in concentrations of PM10 and PM2.5 by 2024. The National Clean Air Programme (NCAP) was launched by the Union minister for environment, forests and climate change.
Though measure won’t help until and unless it will come down to the ground level. Improving public transport, dust control and waste management are the key areas in which Delhi has been lacking. The concerned bodies must address this before it gets too late.
As long as the government will not open the proper doors to empower the people, and work with everyone else, we can never tackle this horrendous situation. And then it will be too late. All that will be left is damage control, learning how to survive within the crisis! We’re good at letting it go too far. Writing and calling politicians don’t seem to work! I think we are tired of being placated, so we will just go away! We really need to focus on finding a way to break this circle of destruction!