Delhi Air Pollution - The Current Scenario and Ways to Curb It

Nov 06, 2019 4:15 IST 655 views

The capital city, Delhi, has been in the headlines for the past few weeks for its degrading air quality. The increasing pollution levels in the capital city has not only disrupted the normal life but also made it difficult for the people to breathe, literally. The condition, which has worsened after the festive season calls for immediate remedial action from both the government and the citizens.

In a Comprehensive Action Plan (CAP) submitted by the Delhi government to the Supreme Court for combating the pollution menace, the government has listed a slew of measure it plans to undertake on an immediate basis to control the situation, which are:

  • The State transport department has banned the entry of all heavy vehicles into the capital. All the vehicles, except the vehicles carrying perishable items like milk, fruits, vegetables and tankers carrying petroleum products, are asked to take an alternative route instead of entering the state.
  • The civic authorities have asked for a complete ban on all ongoing construction activities in the city and the industries using coal and biomass as fuel are asked to shut their operations for a few days.
  • To keep the citizens, and especially the children safe from breathing the polluted air, the state has declared a public holiday for five days, and all schools and colleges are asked to shut down till November 5.
  • The Delhi Pollution Control Committee has directed the transport department and the traffic police to intensify the checking of polluting vehicles.

While the immediate measures are taken to bring the pollution under control and improve the Air Quality Index, the need of the hour, as the people of the capital demand is a sustainable long-term plan. But, the government alone cannot make a difference, unless the citizens take proactive measures to counter the problem. Here are a few critical steps that people and government can take:

  • Mark out special lanes for bicycles on the roads to encourage safe travel by bicycles and encourage the citizens to use the cycles more than cars for local commuting purposes.
  • Encourage the use of public transport by supporting the Metro, and the bus services and make it more safe and affordable for the people. The ‘free rides for women on Metro’ initiative by the Delhi government has been a welcome move in this regard. The citizens, too, must shed their social status and use public transport more to curb pollution.
  • Over the past few years, the governments around the world are pushing for fuel-efficient cars that provide better mileage per litre. Citizens can opt for more fuel-efficient and small cars that run on CNG or batteries.
  • Providing good roads and proper maintenance of local roads and highways will make the rides smoother and faster and therefore reduce the emissions.
  • The government must encourage and provide the necessary support to install solar panels in homes and commercial premises. Providing subsidies to the builders for installing solar panels in all new constructions can significantly help reduce the burden on the thermal power plants and get clean and sustainable energy.

 

According to the Sambhavi Shukla, Centre of Science and Environment, a TERI-ARAI study published in 2018, the construction activities contribute to about 8% of the air pollution. With construction being such a major contributor to pollution, there is a pressing need for more sustainable construction methods. At IIFL Home Finance Limited, we have been at the forefront to support green building construction through our ‘Kutumb’ initiative, an award-winning initiative for Best Green and Sustainable Initiative in Affordable Housing Segment.

 

In line with the PMAY, the central government scheme to build 11 million affordable green homes by 2022, KUTUMB is a platform that blends the benefits of green homes with affordable housing segment in India. It focuses on the needs, efforts and initiatives that can be taken to promote sustainable and energy-efficient real estate development in a cost-effective way. KUTUMB is a vision that culminates into the big picture of ‘Green Revolution 2.0.’

Together, we can make a difference and make Delhi a happy ‘Kutumb’ (meaning – family) where the citizens can live a happy, and pollution-free life.

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