Millennium Post

Better public service to check pollution

During the winter months several inadequacies of urban life come to the fore. In the past fortnight, news columns have been full of reports regarding the poor people across urban India spending miserable time in the biting cold, with several deaths too being reported. There have also been reports of trains and flights getting inordinately delayed due to the heavy fog having descended across north India. With an increase in the sensitivity quotient in the government and also improvement in technology some of the problems stated above can be effectively handled. However, there is a graver concern which the winter poses year after year. With the fog, a large of part of north India especially Delhi and the National Capital Region (NCR), also get engulfed by smog. First what’s smog. The word came into existence by merging smoke and fog. This is when fog gets mixed and polluted with smoke to become smog. In recent times especially for the city of Delhi one of the main reasons for smog has been found to be automotive emissions. With five lakh vehicles getting added to Delhi’s fleet every year and about 40 lakh vehicles using Delhi’s roads everyday, Delhi will always remain susceptible to high degree of pollution, as has been recently reported.

Though with the introduction of CNG driven public transport buses and the Delhi Metro increasing its reach with every passing day, the levels of pollution is better managed than in the 1990s, when the Supreme Court intervened to drive out diesel-driven buses. However, the low floor buses and the Delhi Metro have not been able to put a check on the number of vehicles on the roads.

The reason for that is that the city’s public transport infrastructure has not kept pace with the demands. Its impossible to board a Metro train during rush hours, forcing people to drive to work in their own vehicles. Secondly poor management of traffic often cause jams, also discourage people from taking public transport buses and sticking to their two-wheelers. These add to the number of vehicles on the road, which in turns adds to pollution levels, so visible during the winter months. There is an urgent need to keep the pollution levels in Delhi under control and this can be best done by encouraging people to use public transport. But the people would use public service only if it measures up to their expectations.
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