Deeply disappointed with diwali cracker bursting: Environmentalist
New Delhi: There is a sense of rage and disappointment amongst scientists and environmentalists alike over the extravagant bursting of firecrackers by people. The smog in Delhi is said to be 10 times more toxic than prescribed.
Air Quality Index (AQI) listed by SAFAR happens to be around 428.
Delhi Science Forum scientist D Raghunandan expressed his disappointment that around 5 million kgs of firecrackers were burnt despite the strict Supreme Court guidelines which lead to 150000 kg of PM being released.
"It is completely ridiculous that the SC says something about crackers and no one listens. However crackers are episodic, the major problem here happens to be about vehicular pollution. Delhi has more vehicles than Mumbai, Banglore, Chennai and Kolkata combined" Raghunandan said.
Further explaining the problem with India's air control, Raghunandan compared the situation to western countries which have a much tighter control. He was aghast at the fact that WHO suggests the AQI to be somewhere around 30 whereas India aims to get something around 100-150. Also Read: AQI continues to remain 'Hazardous' in parts of Delhi "Government should step in to control vehicle pollution, it was a welcome move by SC to ban 10 year old diesel and 15 year petrol vehicles. I understand people might feel a hole is being burnt in their pockets, the government should step up and give subsidies in the difference of cost. If the government can spend on expansive air craft projects like Udaan for flight travellers, then they can surely spend something on the car users and farmers burning residue" he summed up.
While Raghunandan was of the the opinion that there is nothing much that can be done on an individual level and the onus lies on the government, Harjeet Singh an environmentalist and Global lead, Climate Change at Action Aid while backed Raghunandan's call for vehicular pollution, believed that as individuals too can make a difference with their small measures, "What people did on diwali was deeply disappointing and in a way people have failed the nation. Now atleast going ahead, they should look to use ACs/heaters judiciously. With the winters approaching we should keep in mind that we use heaters only when we really need it and not waste".
Citing the hazard of continuing the way we are, Singh cautioned "It is a an emergency situation. It is like smoking several cigarettes even for non smokers. I am afraid that fatal diseases of lungs & heart and instant deaths might not be too far away from us".
The Supreme Court had ordered only bursting of green crackers and placed a curfew of 8-10 pm on people of Delhi/ NCR but people clearly seemed to turn deaf ears to the Supreme Court diktat.