Millennium Post

Checking pollution: What needs to be done?

The Delhi government has declared a medical emergency with the Central Pollution Control Board (CPCB) sending out alarming messages on its website, calling for states to tackle pollution on a "priority basis".
Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal has termed the situation as an "emergency" as the Meteorological Department has forecast that a change of weather is most unlikely.
The World Health Organisation in 2014 classified New Delhi as the world's most polluted capital, with air quality levels worse than Beijing; and it appears that now in 2017 the situation has worsened multiple-fold.
According to government statistics, the total number of vehicles in Delhi exceeded 10 million for the first time in 2016. Stubble burning by the farmers is also one of the prime factors of such horrific pollution.
Construction activities have been suspended temporarily; the city chiefs have been calling for a total ban on trucks entering the city and all are asked to stay indoors as much as possible.
The microscopic particles, which are smaller than 2.5 micrometers in diameter, are considered harmful because they are small enough to lodge deep into the lungs and pass into other organs, causing serious health risks to even a normal human being.
Retailers selling air purifiers are making merry as sales have surged significantly. People are moving about with masks and scarves over their nose.
Primarily start with planting more trees. Development and upgrading of infrastructure should not mean felling of trees and starving people of oxygen. The government should ensure that polluting industrial establishments move out of the city limits and also stringently limit approvals to these units in areas of habitation. The government machinery should also start looking at greener alternatives in place of pollution-emitting fuel in vehicles.
It is imperative to start somewhere because pollution has now overwhelmed the action taken and what is unfolding today is a scary story.
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