Wednesday, January 18, 2017

Should govt have a relook at Delhi air quality ?

Smog over Delhi, 31 Oct 2016, Diwali day - courtesy AP
Every year Deepavali is celebrated in the country in great pomp and splendour. Yearly we find for almost for a week after the festival the air in Delhi becomes unbreathable. We blame the fireworks and crackers for the great pollution caused in the air. We do not have clear statistics yet as to how many people are killed due to air pollution and how many man hours / student hours are lost with missed office and classes.

The Supreme Court has never interfered in the matter, do not know whether anybody has gone to court or not. If the SC takes cognizance of the case and bans the fireworks from Diwali and says other celebrations can continue, will the people be satisfied and will the festival still be called the festival of colours ?

Is traditions the reason why SC is not banning fireworks during Diwali, even though it is a very unhealthy practice ?

Particulate Matter Emissions in Delhi (SAFAR, Min. of Earth Sciences, GoI)

                                   2.5 microns (micro-g/cu.m)     10 microns (micro-g/cu.m)

WHO (24 hr period)           25                                        50
WHO (annual mean)          10                                        20

SAFAR                               60                                       100

Delhi (30 Oct 2016)          624.2                                    836

WHO - World Health Organisations, United Nations body
SAFAR - System of Air Quality Weather Forecasting and Research

Let us create more awareness on these figures (as reported in Livemint) on 18 Jan 2017 ?

Why is it that in come cases SC takes up the case on its own, or when brought up by somebody citing violation and in some cases not at all, unless someone brings it up ? Does it smack of brazenness and an arbitrary approach ?

Did the SC cross its mandate in deciding that animal cruelty is anti-national, but not bursting of crackers during Diwali and polluting the air in Delhi beyond limits set by WHO and our national watchdog agency (SAFAR) by many multiples leading to major health hazards .. ?

The whole approach smacks of arbitrariness and high handedness. Can we close our eyes to some open violations and raise voice against some other ? 

Who will call the shots finally against whom ? Shouldn't we be more vigilant and fair to everybody, asking that irrespective of century old culture and practices,  environment cannot be violated..

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