December 12, 2017

D’helly Pollution

‘Chalta hai’ attitude of Indians has cost us a lot in every walk of life. Pollution – that’s fervently discussed today – will be forgotten soon and we will all switch to other topics in no time. Pollution in Delhi will be revisited same time next year, until then – CHAO!

Let’s start with Diwali. The writing on the wall is clear – with a ban in place, it is irrefutably proved that Diwali firecrackers did not contribute to the smog & dangerous levels of pollutants in Delhi. Reality is that crackers contribute a miniscule amount to air pollution and banning them had a negligible effect in controlling pollution.

In hindsight, the ban robbed the children the joy of bursting crackers. It had another purpose – It brought joy to misinformed Seculars and Liberals who were advocating, rather illogically, a ban on fireworks, claiming that crackers are the primary cause of pollution.

The political tug of war and blame game being played out in full public view makes the already gasping Delhites to choke on acidic political rhetoric. Need of the hour is concrete measures and ideas to bail-out Delhi from a veritable gas-chamber, but none seem forthcoming.

Ensconced safely in an AC chamber, the Chief Minister of Delhi, the right honourable Arvind Kejriwal who coughed his way to power has shielded himself from pollution and has found a cure for his cough, but he has terribly failed to protect the entire population, who idolised him and elected him, from toxic air that threatens to snuff out lives. His knee jerk solution is the odd/even experiment. Obviously too-little-too-late. And one other measure, that’s not worth mentioning – rather embarrassing to mention, is sprinkling water on trees.

As if Kejriwal’s antics are not enough, his MLA goes around burning stubble, purportedly in solidarity with farmers in neighbouring Punjab, adding to the pollution woes. Imperious AAP is incorrigible to say the least.

The Central government on its part is yet to come up with a solution. It’s busy passing the buck to the state government’s of Delhi & Punjab as if pollution is a state policy!

The Central, the State, the Judiciary, and the pollution pundits who so eagerly batted to ban firecrackers are all mute spectators to nature’s angry retribution. It’s not that they haven’t seen it coming; it’s just that they never bothered to take pre-emptive measures to reduce the impact. Maybe they thought that Diwali Firecrackers could be an one stop solution, but later realised that the problem is multifaceted?

It’s not just Delhi that’s reeling from the devastating effects of pollution, entire North India is a ‘Smog House’. The Prime Minister’s constituency, Varanasi, is no better.

Industries that have devised ways to bypass pollution checks. Farmers that burn stubble blatantly. Unchecked Construction activities that billow clouds of dust. Unstoppable vehicle population and their unchecked emissions. Humongous landfills of burning garbage etc., are the pollution ‘Fountainheads’ that need to be regulated on a war footing. But all we do is fret and fume about ‘Firecrackers’.

Sci-Fi movies, we thought, were a fiction of somebody’s runaway imagination. Oxygen masks, Eco-domes, insulated suits etc., are not futuristic & Alienish anymore, the rate at which we are killing our planet – they are realistic.Picture Credit: @sudarsansand and twitter (screenshot)

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About Narsimhan OSL 93 Articles
Consultant for Auto-LPG based in Hyderabad. He has interest in current affairs, likes to read a lot and write a bit.
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