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Delhi Air Pollution - A brief on Fundamental Problems
The Supreme court has suggested to the Central and State Governments to consider the work from home policy to curb air pollution for a few days. The major contributors to air pollution are factories, transportation, construction dust, and stubble burning. But the question is, these factors have already been the prime aggregators to pollute the air quality for a long time in the Delhi – NCT region and the neighboring states whether it is Uttar Pradesh, Haryana, or Rajasthan.
Then how ‘We’ as a larger community are going to tackle air pollution menace which grows every day, and every year repeatedly. Let’s talk about it one by one in brief.
The Factories: The factories and Power Plants which have been known for the point source or stationary source of Air Pollution operating in a particular locality that generate a major amount of employment to the small and middle-class families shall continue to be operating by the virtue of our Judicial blessings. A factory set up having a manufacturing process of a product or a service delivery by using energy and power a prime mover which often most of the industries procure directly from pet coke, and diesel in their manufacturing operations. The largest consumer of coal is Power Plants and Refineries. Coal which is a non-renewable resource when burned releases 50% sulfur dioxide (SO2), 30% oxides of nitrogen (NOx), about 20% particulate matter (PM) into the Environment if no pollution control technology is used. There are small scale, medium scale, and large scale industries that are polluting in nature are responsible for degrading the quality of air in Delhi and bordering states.
Construction activities: Construction activities whether for Infrastructural projects, Industrial projects, and Road construction projects, are the real indicator of a developing economy of which India is a living and perfect example to put on. Construction is one of the major reasons for air pollution on the one hand but it plays a pivotal role to strengthen the nation-building process on the other hand. These construction industries may have a pause for some time to cut the dust emission into the environment due to the Supreme court and the NGT orders, However, rapidly and unchecked ongoing construction is leading to exert the suspended particulate matter which makes the air quality more exacerbating in the Delhi NCR region.
Transportation: The transportation sector that consists of cars, buses, trucks, trains, and planes known for the mobile source of air pollution, consumes an enormous amount of energy in the form of diesel and petrol. This amounts to emitting a substantial quantity of nitrous oxides, particulate matter, and carbon dioxide into the air. Using Low Sulphur Diesel (LSD) in vehicles contributes to an extent to reducing air pollution. The Supreme court ordered in 1998 to make the use of CNG mandatory for vehicles, buses, and auto-rickshaws by April 2001. Daily commuters owning white number plate vehicles plying on the road are being promoted for the carpooling system while going to work.
Stubble Burning: The Northern States of India; Punjab, Haryana and Uttar Pradesh have two seasons of growing the Wheat and Rice in which one is from May to September and the other is from November to April. Many farmers of these states rotate the crops alternatively and burn leftovers of the plant in September and October after harvesting rice, this gives rise to a phenomenon which is called Stubble burning. Every year during the onset of winter seasons, Stubble burning blended with the existing air pollution hits hard the capital of India forming the toxic clouds of smog spreading over the Delhi-NCR region. There are Judicial bodies, Supreme Court, and National Green Tribunal to take cognizance of the offense, issue necessary directions and Executive bodies, CPCB (Central Pollution Control Board), and other State Pollution Control Board to implement the directions under the various Environmental provisions and laws accordingly.
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