Focus Corner

Clearing the Air: Battling Delhi’s Perennial Pollution Plight

Understanding the Factors, Impact, and Strategies for Cleaner Skies in India's Capital

Delhi, the capital of India, is suffering from a severe air pollution crisis. The city has been named the world’s most polluted capital for the fourth year in a row by a global report. The air quality in Delhi is so bad that it can cause serious health problems for those living there.

One of the main reasons for Delhi’s air pollution is stubble burning. This is when farmers burn the leftover crops after harvesting them. It creates a lot of smoke and ash that travels to Delhi and other parts of north India. Stubble burning happens mostly in the states near Delhi, such as Punjab, Haryana, Uttar Pradesh, and Rajasthan.

Another reason for Delhi’s air pollution is vehicular emissions. Delhi has more than 12 million vehicles on its roads. These vehicles release harmful gases and particles into the air. Diesel vehicles are especially bad for the environment. Vehicular emissions are responsible for more than a quarter of Delhi’s air pollution.

Industrial pollution is also a big contributor to Delhi’s air pollution. Delhi and its surrounding regions have many industries, such as power plants, brick kilns, factories, and construction sites. These industries release sulphur dioxide, nitrogen dioxide, and heavy metals into the air. Industrial pollution accounts for almost a fifth of Delhi’s air pollution.

The weather and climate conditions also affect Delhi’s air pollution. During the winter season, the air becomes colder and stiller. This traps the pollutants near the ground and prevents them from dispersing. The cold weather also increases the demand for heating, which leads to more burning of fuels. Moreover, the dust storms from the dry regions of western India and neighbouring countries also add to the pollution.

Delhi’s air pollution is a serious and urgent problem that needs to be solved. The government, the industry, the farmers, and the public all have to work together to find and implement the solutions. Some of the possible solutions are:

Reducing stubble burning: 

The government should provide incentives and alternatives to the farmers to stop burning the crops. For example, the government can give them machines and equipment to turn the crops into biofuel, compost, or fodder. The government should also punish and monitor those who break the law and burn the crops. The public should also raise awareness and demand action from the authorities to stop this practice.

Improving public transport and promoting green mobility: 

The government should invest in improving the public transport system, such as metro, buses, and e-rickshaws. This will reduce the dependence on private vehicles. The government should also encourage the use of electric and hybrid vehicles and provide subsidies and infrastructure. The public should also choose carpooling, cycling, and walking whenever possible and avoid unnecessary travel.

Regulating industrial emissions and switching to renewable energy: 

The government should enforce strict emission standards and norms for the industries and make sure they follow them. The government should also shut down or move the highly polluting industries, such as coal-fired power plants and brick kilns, from the capital region. The government should replace them with cleaner and greener alternatives, such as solar, wind, and biogas. The public should also support and demand the transition to renewable energy sources and use energy-efficient practices, such as LED bulbs, solar panels, and smart appliances.

Enhancing green cover and reducing dust pollution: 

The government should plant more trees and plants in the city and protect the existing green spaces, such as parks, gardens, and forests. The government should also reduce dust pollution such as paving the roads, sprinkling water, and covering the construction sites. The public should also participate in planting and conserving trees and avoid littering and burning waste.

By working together, we can make Delhi a cleaner and healthier place to live.

Rohit Sharma

Rohit Sharma is a seasoned Political Journalist with a deep passion for Indian Politics. With over a decade of experience in the field, he has established himself as a trusted… More »

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