Oohooo….oohooo…ummm…sorry…it’s just the cough…you know… Which people caught hold off in winters…but if you give a real attention is it just the fog? Just the cold breeze? The real one… which is defined as a thick cloud of tiny water droplets suspended at or near the earth’s surface which obscures or restricts visibility…well the answer is NO; as what we see now as a shield which covers the whole atmosphere is a mixture of fog and smog (originated from smoke)..And man is the one who is pushing smog really hard through coal emissions, smoking, vehicular emissions, industrial emissions and the photochemical reactions of these emissions.
Now, have glances over few statistical details regarding the national capital…A study held by Yale and Columbia University ranked India at 174 out of 178 countries in Air quality. During the year 13-14, levels of the particulate matter in Delhi, increased by about 44%, primarily due to various reasons, vehicular emission being the most prominent one. Apart from this the average maximum temperature in Delhi during winters has declined notably since 1998 and most of us; the proud dilliwallas are totally unaware of alarming levels of air pollution and the health risks associated with it.
Till now If one is assuming air pollution to be the only threat to Delhi, then we need to shift our attention towards one of the reason for Delhi’s existence, the river Yamuna, suffering heavily from pollution, flowing silently, crying silently, wanting us to stop by and give a thought as to what we wanted it to be? Is this what we are happy with? Or is there something that we can do?
Now what counts is not whether Delhi’s air/water is more polluted, but whether the Indian capital is doing enough to tackle a fast growing problem? The Delhite’s are themselves not aware regarding the quality of air they are breathing, and when levels go very high, they need to be warned about it. The question comes…What needs to be done? And before this who needs to do it? Is the government solely responsible for carrying out everything or does the people have to do it individually?
The choice is yours. Now there are clearly three types of people. First, who does nothing, nor do they play the blame game neither do they try to do it themselves. Second are the ones who on one hand are themselves making the place dirty and then are blaming the government for not getting the place cleaned up. The last category of people includes those who instead of blaming the government start doing their own bit. Well the choices that we make today clearly make up the future’s fate. After deciding who needs to do it we need to come up with what needs to be done?
One is by starting the activity of car pooling…i.e. instead of every employee driving his/her own vehicle to their office it would be way nicer to have every three to four employees coming in one single car. Walking to short distances is another way to control pollution. The high amount of traffic jams results into huge amount of pollution, thus a mechanism should be generated through which these traffic jams could be reduced, it could be either by changing office timings, by minimizing traffic lights, having all the traffic lights properly functioned, by having an adequate number of traffic police on the streets so as to help people handle the jams and by having severe punishment for anyone who tries to break the rules set in for own safety.
Vehicles that are unruly parked on roads are also a cause for traffic jams. The traffic police should take care of this and should have the wrongly parked vehicles taken away. If we see the parking problem in the colonies, then the possible solution might be to provide vehicles only after ensuring adequate parking space. Now, it’s very common to see the roads getting blocked due to their poor condition and half of the jams take place because of the large pot holes on the road.
If we as citizens start doing our own bit, then there would be no need for the government to clean the stuff. Cleaning our own lane…posting pictures…Inspiring others…making others realize its importance…coming up with new ideas… communicating those ideas with as much as possible are the little things that would make change, if not now then later. The less we pollute…the less is needed to be done and the cleaner the place would be.
(Vani Bansal is a writer, poet and currently pursuing CA in New Delhi.)