Saturday, August 25, 2012


                                                                                                         - Milan K Sinha
Pollution in New Delhi
 It's a common knowledge that  the economic growth story of India has been witness of  rapid urbanisation and also of consistent migration of rural population to our cities which are otherwise facing lot of civic and sanitation problems.  The population of cities in India has naturally been  increasing fast - a fact which is vindicated by the latest statistics of 2011  census. Simultaneously, India’s vehicular population  has increased many fold in recent past – presently, we have more than 40 million passenger vehicles alone. In total, the country manufactures 11 million plus vehicles every year,  75% of which are two- wheeler. 

This has  directly impacted the air pollution scene very badly. The  country’s capital, New Delhi  ranks among one of the top cities in the world in this regard. According to a report the air pollution level in New Delhi is going to cross the human endurance level. Even non-metropolitan cities like Patna, Ranchi and Lucknow are having relatively  high level of Suspended Particulate Matter (SPM) in the air.

     Before discussing this burning issue, why not  look at  the following facts  with open mind:
  • India is growing fast economically –average GDP growth of 7% 
  • India’s  population is also growing fast –its world’s 2nd  most populous country after China
  • India ranks among the top Automotive Industry in the world.
  • India’s energy needs, particularly Petrol/Diesel etc. is fast rising.
  • We are importing 80% of our  crude oil needs and our oil import bill touched   475 billion dollar in 2011-12.
  • Coal production & consumption is also increasing in good pace.
  • Traffic congestion in big as well as mid -sized cities has risen to an alarming proportion.
  • The Govt. initiatives does not  seem to take care of environmental issues seriously as the priority is tilted in favour of GDP growth.

      Obviously, all the above facts and some more have greatly contributed to making  India  one of the worst  countries in the world as regards the present status of Air Pollution (It is generally defined as the contamination of  life saving oxygen with obnoxious gases such as carbon mono oxide, carbon di oxide, sulphur di oxide, methane etc. mainly  due  to combustion  of  fuel - oil, coal,  biomass  &  firewood, in vehicles, industries  &  household.)  This problem has been  aggravating  with  every passing day. Consequently, the Indian population is face to face with such sordid situations as:
  • Air pollution is causing almost 6.5 lac deaths annually.
  • Even far greater population suffers from lung infections, breathing    problems,cancer & heart ailments. 
  • Pregnant  ladies & children up to 5 years  are very vulnerable to ill effects of Air pollution.
  • Plants, vegetation & animals too are worst affected destroying the ecological balance.      

     Then, what is the remedy which can earnestly be tried right from now both at the government level  as well as at the community level with greater intensity:
  • Reduction in emission of  air pollutants including  Green House Gases .
  • Vast improvement in public transport system .      
  • Making Solar & Wind energy popular in all possible & time bound manner.
  • Protection of existing forests & large scale afforestation.
  • Encourage & convince people to drive less and walk & bicycle more. 
  • Strict compliance of emission norms.  
Published in Patna
                                                       Will meet again with Open Mind. All the Best.


  1. I shall again stress upon individual responsibility here. We must take care that our vehicles follow the required emission norms by getting them serviced every three to four months, or as instructed by the manufacturer.

    Taxis, auto-rickshaws, buses, trucks and other modes of mass travel which cannot be brought up to the existing norms must be phased out. The govt. needs to provide financial assistance to the owners of such vehicles so that they don't incur heavy losses due to such measures.

    1. Thanks. Very good point/insight. Following emission norms is equally beneficial to the vehicle owner as it ensures better mileage & better driving comfort. All The Best.

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