Earlier a report from WHO revealed that India has 14 out of 15 most polluted cities in the world in terms of PM 2.5 concentration. The same report confirms that in 2016, 4.2 million deaths happened due to ambient air pollution, and household air pollution killed some 3.8 million people in the same year.
(Courtesy: Indian Today)
There are countless such figures. And they are, at best, scary. The air in so many metro cities is virtually unbreathable. Sadly, we don’t realize it because its effect isn’t immediate but rather long-term. You see, we don’t believe in prevention—we believe in cure. And unless the problem evidently comes, we don’t even care about cure too much either.
And what’s worse is that the bad air quality affects the poor people the most.
To resolve the paramount problem we’re living in, we need to take very big measures. It’s essential. There’s no two-way to it.
The fuel use must be reduced. More people must take public transportation. Industries that emit smoke and other pollutants must be locked down. More trees must be planted. Mask must be made mandatory for everyone to wear. Everyone must be discouraged to hit outdoors unnecessarily during peak hours of office goers.
(Courtesy: Odisha Bytes)
Even an hour cracker window on Diwali will make things incredibly worse. It’s not effective. There should have been a complete ban on burning crackers across the country. We need to realize that we’re way past those days when this measure was an option. A complete ban on crackers (and just about any source of air pollution) is the way to go.
Unfortunately, for us, “religious sentiments” always prevail our health and life. It’s so easy in our country to give a topic as serious as this one a political and religious narration.
In short, the Supreme Court’s decision to allow burning of crackers on Diwali between 8 and 10 pm is not exactly a very good move. The next day, the worse will become worst. And the media will be back discussing the rhetorical— “how do we improve air quality?” An effective way would have been to spread awareness before the 2-hours cracker window, so people act responsibly. But wait, they are busy discussing Ayodhya and Ram Mandir (again), aren’t they?