I am chatting with an online friend and he questions, “Hey, BTW, which city are you from ?”. A smile appears on my face and with pride and respect I answer, “I am a from Delhi”. Being from Delhi seems privileged, blessed. The capital of the nation, the city of bureaucrats. We get 24/7 power, a clean and constant water supply, huge road network, Malls, Delhi Metro, Sky High apartment complexes, India Gate and Connaught Place.
Not only this Delhi has sq km area of 1,483 which holds a population of 1,70,84,235, which acquires 96,34,976 vehicles for a road length of 33,198 kms. The national capital has only 7.94 % of its total geographical area covered by trees. Delhi has only 10.2% forest cover left even though Forests Act says 30% is minimum. Delhi is among the most polluted cities in the world, second only to Riyadh among the big cities. Am I truly proud to be a Delhite after reading this ?
Despite a 200 km long, seven-line metro network carrying 2.4 to 2.8 million commuters on average every day, private vehicles population have increased 92% over the last 15 years. Delhi’s vehicles, which are more than 9 millions in number as per the vehicle registration records, produce six times as much greenhouse gas emissions (GHG) as that of Kolkata’s, five times as much as Ahmedabad’s and three times as much as Greater Mumbai and Chennai.
24 hours after Diwali pollution turned Delhi into a gas chamber, almost. Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal had no clue where he was. Still he tried to control the situation with his Even/Odd plan which was Brilliantly thought out but received lot of non cooperation from its residents. Let me tell you my friends, I am worried sick of what we are doing to our city, our home.
I agree that our city has some shortfalls. It is landlocked. Delhi doesn’t get the benefit of sea breeze like Chennai, Mumbai and other coastal towns get. The breeze can drive away some of the pollution, also sea side regions are more windy than land locked ones. Than Delhi gets rains just once a year, not like Mumbai which gets rain throughout year, as rain too washes away pollutants from the air. Delhi is sandwitched between states like Haryana ,UP. therefore cities like Gurgaon,Noida, Faridabad,Ghaziabad,Panipat are Highly industrialised. Farmers of Haryana and UP burns the Agri husk from crop which is largest source of pollution.
But the main culprit is using more the road vehicles, less the public transport and certainly the greatest menace to be tackled is the quality of the fuel being used by the vehicles in Delhi.
The most basic cause of pollution in any city or nation is not something external but our polluted hearts alone and the interesting thing is that everyone is unaware of it. Polluted heart is greedy and lusty for things, it just asks for more and more without bothering for future consequences. Polluted heart doesn’t feel satisfied ever.
Foreign countries like UK n USA are working out projects that can be launched to reduce air pollution in Delhi, but we, being its citizens are just giving a blind eye to the whole situation and waiting for others to come and solve our problems. Just saying “Green Delhi, Clean Delhi” and “Swachh Bharat Abhyan” won’t make it happen. We need to get up and go, we need to take concrete steps to make our own breathing air clean.
Try to use more public transports. Try to use car pool when the destination is same. Try to plant one tree per person. Try to use less electricity so in turn power plants emit less gases. Try to use your petrol run car instead of the diesel one. Don’t cut any more trees. Try to selfless for this once. It’s the heritage of your next generation, preserve it for them.
PS : Remember you all thought Demonitization might never happen, just like you think Acid Rain might never happen.