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Environment Pollution Decreases in the CapitalButWill it Be Same after this Pandemic

Pritam Kashyap
Pritam Kashyap

India's coronavirus lockdown has led to cleaner air and better river quality. A recent analysis by the Delhi Pollution Control Board found that the quality of the Yamuna River flowing along New Delhi has also improved during the lockdown. The report cited a decrease in runoff from 28 industrial clusters and less trash. Will it be same after this pandemic?  

According to the IQAir AirVisual and Greenpeace Gurugram, Ghaziabad world’s most polluted city, Delhi and Mumbai worse than Beijing. The country ranks 168 out of 180 in Environmental Performance Index (EPI) with Score of 27.60 and the city every year struggles with pollution from the burning of crackers, burning of agricultural biomass residue, or crop residue burning, burning of municipal waste, vehicle exhaust emissions and many others.  

 

It is the story of the desperate city and the desperate people, how they live and struggle for life with “no words”. We know that contamination or any undesirable change in the physical-chemical and biological surrounding is called pollution. Any agent which effect these surroundings are called as the polluting agent. New Delhi capital of land Bharat is a place where the variety of people lives with different ideology and culture. It is not a city it is a forum which is surrounded by Yamuna River in the east, spurs from the Aravalli range in the west and south, the Himalayas in north and Ridge in the west. New Delhi is full of life and youth not only that it is an administrative centre of the nation. Capital with its old history and glory at the time of Delhi Sultanate, Mughals and British now where it has gone. The Mughal Era Poet, Mirza Ghalib said "I asked my soul: What is Delhi? She replied: The world is the body and Delhi its life". Now the scenario has changed it has become one of the most polluted cities in the world. 

 

Not only the air but the water is also deteriorated and can give you nightmare if you drink it. Crystal Blue, Holy River which is compared as Goddess has now become like black, filthy with a foul smell river which is dying full of sorrow and regret. Yet people don’t regret to her they say it is her fault only we will dump all rituals items and make it filthy and garbage house. On the other hand, the government comes out with campaigns to clean river with equipment’s rather teaching basic knowledge that not to do so such dumping activities in the name of rituals.  

From Wazirabad to Okhla stretch of Yamuna accounts for 76% of river’s pollution this is only possible because of the maximum discharge of untreated industrial and domestic wastes. Phosphate and Nitrate concentration also increases in the river which lead to accelerated eutrophication and soon the time will come when the river will die and converted to land and people will auction and built new housing society.  

 

I don’t know why this happens whenever I pass through this river I wonder what people are doing I see so much of froth in the river, people taking a sample of water for the survey from the past 20 years and what solution came Sewage treatment plants, Projects like "Asita", its Yamuna River Front Development Project (2018), Meri Dilli Meri Yamuna (MDMY) campaign (2010) and much more, not a strategic action or plan has been taken despite seeing a lot of froth, tannic acid, phosphate, nitrates, high Biochemical oxygen demand (BOD), decrease in life support, idol immersion in the river, Chhath Puja, Eicchorina plant terror and many other factors. I don’t understand the Yamuna which is it the goddess, how immersion of another god idol in help to get away from their sins. 

The silent killer of humans i.e. air pollution which kills 620,000 Indians every year as per the Global Burden of Disease Report. The pollution level is so high that it is equal to the smoking of 15-20 cigarettes a day and the days are also gone when doctor see pink or healthy lungs only black choked lungs are visible. There are various factors but certain facts that need to be highlighted is of Punjab land of five rivers and place where the Green Revolution started produces about 19-20 million tonnes of paddy straw and about 85-90 per cent of this paddy straw is burnt in the field which is also a major regional source of pollution which contributes between 12 and 60 per cent of PM concentrations report as per various studies.  

Manjit Singh Puri, Delhi citizen said, “1992 Earth Summit happened, 2002 World Summit happened, COPs and thousands of conferences and seminar has been conducted till now what has happened, the level of pollution has despite decreasing it has increased a lot.” He also added Severn Cullis-Suzuki at very young age spoke about problems like ozone depletion, poaching, fishes having cancer due to pollution, what has happened only one the thing has happened that acceleration rate has increased if it was at the rate of 10x it has gone to 100x and we are on the verge of the sixth extinction era.   

Even my mom and even friends said, it is a waste of time, you study and focus on earning rather than being so concerned for the environment where people are illiterate and some are educated illiterate. In this world, people are more focused on wars, which country has how many nuclear heads and whom I can start with a trade war basically how I can dominate the other be it so developed or developing nation. This era is not safe or anyone people and we not only have to have fear of terrorist but also fear of life death from pollution despite knowing all facts and problems. Industry and control measure need to go in hand in hand but who focus on control measures give money /bribe (corruption) and are free of it. 

 

No Harm rule principle of customary international law states “State is duty-bound to prevent, reduce and control the risk of environmental harm to other states.” But look at the Politics it is like a drainage pipe “Suppose if you have a pipe in your house and a leakage somewhere what you will do you might try to fix a pipe or change it at once then within a week the same problem arises you will do same and at a point, you might try to switch over an alternative source despite knowing that you can’t. The politics are like that if one minister is corrupt what you will do it is same at the end you have to compromise and adjust. We can’t start who is real polluter game blame and game theory will not work. Millions of people die each year due to air pollution but who is the real culprit we don’t know. Everyone washes their hand like washing hand after murdering of someone and behaves that no one has seen anything in the world.  

The scream of mother earth, it cries all night and tears and its wept are just blown away as we don’t anything and we act so strangely. Big Banks give loan on various infrastructure building and the country has a race on import and export items with the pollution on the alarming height. 

After the pandemic is over this matter must be looked at a serious concern so as to avoid the same problems which we are facing from past ages. There is a hope for improvement which will make the planet greener, full of life and secure place to live.   

 

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