Delhi Pollution: What Is The Govt Doing In This Health Emergency?

Once again, Delhi-NCR’s air has become a silent killer. And what is the government doing about it?

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“Dilo ki aur dhuyaan sa dikhai deta hai, yeh shehar toh mujhe jalta dikhai detai hai.”
Poet Ahmad Mushtaq 

I don’t know what made poet Ahmad Mushtaq  pen these words, but it is true that my city is covered in a blanket of smoke. Delhi-NCR, Lucknow, Patna, Kanpur and Baghpat are a few cities where there is smoke without any fire.

“Gas chamber,” “poisonous air,” “suffocating city,” “air emergency,” “a blanket of smog,” “hazardous wind,” are some recurring words in the headlines these days. But when asked for a solution, all you hear is “shut schools,” “make a compromise,” “Pakistan’s conspiracy.”

Once again, like every year, Delhi-NCR’s air has become a silent killer, choking people to death. ‘Right to breathe’ is turning into ‘Let them die’.

But the question is, what is the government doing in this health emergency? Why does the government not care about the lives of the public? Even now, if they continue to blame the weather and insist that everything will fall into place on its own, then as we breathe this poisonous air, we will certainly ask Janab Aise Kaise?

The Government Bought 140 Air Purifiers Worth Rs 36 Lakhs

Like every other year, post-Diwali this year too, many cities were seen immersed in dark smog even during the day. People across Delhi and the country are left with no choice but to breathe the poisonous air. Money can be spent on Mangalyaan and Chandrayaan and it should be, but why is no one equally concerned about this hazardous air?

As per a Reuters report, the government spent Rs 36 lakh on 140 air purifiers from 2014 to 2017. 

The lives of the prime minister and officials running the country are of course very important. But what about the public? Are they any less important? Should they be left to their ineffectual masks? Should they lock themselves in their homes? Wait for this month to end? Quit their jobs?

Supreme Court Delivers a Rap On The Knuckles

The situation is so bad that the Supreme Court even pulled up government agencies. After this, PM Modi advised the Agriculture Ministry to take strict action against those burning stubble in UP, Punjab and Haryana. The Delhi Government then implemented the odd-even scheme.

However, is this enough? Is burning stubble the only cause? There are several other factors responsible for pollution in Delhi. Punjab and Haryana contribute by 17-44%. Other reasons are industrial pollution, cars and construction.

In order to deal with pollution, the court has given orders to study Japanese technology till 3 December and submit a report. Along with that, it has ordered to explore hydrogen-based fuel technology.

The Supreme Court had to highlight Japanese technology. Forget technology, you cannot even prevent excessive stubble burning!

“In our view, very little constructive effort has been made by the government to find a solution to the problem,” said the Supreme Court. Alright, if you truly have worked to curb pollution, then please explain what technology you have introduced and why it’s not working?

As per the Global Burden of Disease Report in 2017, nearly 2 lakh children died due to the poisonous air – that’s 550 children who died, daily.

If every year, pollution becomes life-threatening, why do we do nothing to prevent it? Whether it is Japanese technology or smog control towers, why do we only introduce these after the air has choked the city? Why isn’t the use of public transportation promoted more?

Even if we become a 5-trillion dollar economy, what is the point if we can’t breathe clean air? And if this is not an important topic for the politicians, then for the sake of the health of this country, we will ask Janab Aise Kaise?

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