Voice from the Rooftop

Blog of Vincent Augustine D'Souza

Pollution Solutions

Pollution is a problem that becomes worse during winter. For years Beijing made world news for pollution. This year it was Delhi.
Delhi’s pollution problem goes back to many years. Polluting industries were shut down. Diesel buses were banned. For some time it seemed the problem was over. Then the problem returned.
Diwali festival comes during winter. Bursting of firecrackers causes air and noise pollution. This year Supreme Court banned sale of firecrackers but not bursting of firecrackers. Pollution by firecrackers was less than last year.
Many measures were announced like not allowing trucks except those carrying essential items to enter Delhi, closure of Badarpur Power Plant, suspension of construction activity and ban on using DG sets. Car parking fee was multiplied by four. Delhi Government wanted Odd-Even but National Green Tribunal did not want exemptions to women, two-wheelers, VIPs and other officials. So Odd-Even did not take place.
Stubble burning in Punjab and Haryana is a cause for pollution in Delhi. Farmers do not have easy alternative for stubble burning. The problem continues.
This year dust storm in Saudi Arabia, Kuwait and Iraq is said to have caused 40% of pollution in Delhi. Stubble burning caused 25% and local factors caused 35% of pollution in Delhi. The winds move wherever they want. They do not recognise borders between nations and states.
Central Government has announced that BS VI norms for vehicles will be applicable from 1 April 2018 instead of 1 April 2020 as was previously announced. Auto industry leaders say it is not possible to bring vehicles with BS VI norms in April 2018 as they were given time till April 2020 and were working according to that timeline. India currently has BS IV norms.
Delhi is national capital. It has headquarters of many TV channels. Pollution in Delhi gets maximum coverage. Pollution in other cities does not get much coverage.
Life must go on. Shutting down power plant and DG sets deprives electricity which is needed for work and other activities. Banning diesel cars creates problem of travelling. Suspension of construction activity results in labourers not getting wages.
Problems are continuous. When you solve one problem another crops up. Solutions have to be continuous. Solar panels will generate less electricity in winter. Windmills may be used to generate power. A solution for stubble burning may be found. Dust storm problem is a new one. Saudi Arabia, Kuwait and Iraq are unlikely to worry what it does to India. They have to be persuaded to go for afforestation of deserts and dry lands. India’s capital can be shifted to Evershine City, Vasai, Maharashtra. It will reduce people, cars and pollution in Delhi.

Updated: November 18, 2017 — 7:34 am

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