Global Warming, Pollution Myth & Realities?
The Ghost of Global Warming is haunting every citizen and the media is consistently drawing attention of all those who matter. But so far the ground realities are concerned both the State Governments and the Central continue to abuse the nature left right and center. During sixties in India it was a case of nature against mankind as we as a Nation had to face furry of floods, droughts and natural calamities that aggravated poverty, hunger. Now it is a case of mankind against Nature.
Today’s Planners i.e. Political class and bureaucrats plan massive projects while sitting in Air Conditioned Chambers based on DATA that is invariably outdated and cannot be relied upon. The reasons for such a blunder are that the DATA picked up at the time idea is conceived it is already almost three years old. By the time the plan is prepared the DATA becomes six years old and by the time the plan reaches drawing boards it is older by 9 years and when the actual execution starts the same is aged about 15 years.
It is shameful that both the Apex Court and Central Government are at logger heads on the issue of the powers to protect the forest areas between the Central Empowered Committee (CEC)
constituted by the Apex Court and Forest Advisory Committee (FAC) constituted by the Central Government under the Ministry of Environment & Forests. The media has reported very recently that FAC had accorded approvals to many ill conceived projects in the Forest Areas without applica tion of mind. It may also be worth while to note here that despite presence of Supreme Court Monitoring Committee in Dehradun Mussoorie Valley massive deforestation has taken place and forests continue to be erased. It is matter of record that the Apex Court had ignored the recommendations of CEC regarding protection of Forests in the Capital City of Delhi that too in an area that was mandated to be protected under Master Plan of Delhi and squarely covered under the Judgment of Apex Court itself.
All said and done our efforts seems to have lost the track and we continue to deplete the Green Cover without application of mind. One such classic example is missing Public Transport Policy at National Level. The last Public Transport Policy was prepared some where in 1977 and thereafter till date no efforts have been made to prepare policy on Surface Transport at National Level except in 2006 when Draft National Policy on Public Transport has been prepared but without will to implement.
It appears that the lack of will has percolated down from the Apex Planning Body of the Country i.e. National Planning Commission. If we read the Transport Policy of 10th Planning Commission Report one would find that the Plan has been prepared for Civil Aviation, Railways and Shipping. The only reference to the Surface Transport is profitability and operations of State Transport Under takings.
As a consequence to the myopic planning we find Marutas Bullock Carts fitted with Diesel Engines ferrying in many parts of Uttar Pradesh, Punjab and Haryana. One can spot cycle rickshaws fitted with scooters on many roads of almost most of the cities of the country. Needless to say that all the so called improvised vehicle ply on roads without insurance, registration and do not pay any tax. Only GOD can save the victims if any of such vehicle is involved in accident no steps have been taken by the Governments to curb use of such vehicles that are dangerous not only for other road users but also pollute the environment.
In absence of National Policy on Public Transport the Public Transport systems within and Intercity have virtually collapsed. No one seems to be bothered about ever growing number of personal vehicles on the roads leading to multiple problems impact of which has not been even assessed and analyzed till date. The missing Public Transport is one of the major contributors to wards Global warming some of which are as under:-
- Over crowding of roads
- Increase in congestion on City/ Inter City roads
- Grossly inadequate parking space
- In turn multiplies congestion on roads and traffic Islands;
- Traffic snarls and blockades increase in fuel emissions
- Our survey conducted on 20 such intersections revealed that annually fuel worth Rs. 24 Crores and man hours worth Rs. 1300 Crores go up in smoke. The number of such intersections in the City of Delhi has increased manifold due to construction of Flyovers on the City Roads as well as Highways Classic Example Express Highway on NH-8
Increase in Pollution due to emissions at traffic congested intersections and Roads;
- Increase in fuel import bill and foreign exchange outgo;
- Necessitates Road widening;
- Depletion of Green cover The photographs on NH 8 prove this point Wherever flyover are under construction- Smalkha, Panipat Haryana, Zirakpur Punjab. The Roads after Karnal in Haryana have dense population of trees on the both sides of the road. The moment you enter this area the temperature needle on the Dash Board drops. The cause of concern is that the way NH-1 is being widened these trees would disappear as has happened in Ambala Cantt where massive fly over has come up. It may be noted that the trees could have been protected by following Karnal Bye pass where the vehicles heading for Ambala use the central roads and City Bound vehicles use the service roads. There was no need of huge capital investment and criminal wastage of State Exchequer and massive deforestation. What all was required a bit of planning and application of mind.
- Increase in temperature- The need air conditioned cars, Air Conditioners and Coolers at home;
- Increase in power demand that’s already short in supply;
- Generation of more power increase in coal consumption.
No one seems to be bothered about the quality of Fuel produced and sold at Petrol Pumps. Adulteration of Petrol, Diesel seems to be most profitable business. Who cares so long as corrupt continue to make money. The Politicians and Bureaucrats are bothered about wide roads to increase the speed and it hardly matters that the roads are without trees.
If we go around the Country we find that in order to accommodate the ever growing need of space to accommodate ever increasing number of personal vehicles massive deforestation has taken place whether it is Mumbai Pune Expressway or NH- 1 or NH-8. Even accredited NGO without any credible studies and analysis continue to blame the Diesel vehicles responsible for pollution little realizing that world over the Diesel is being
used as one of the fuels for public transport.. During my five days stay at Istanbul with a population almost equal to Delhi, I did not find even a single vehicle on the roads emitting smoke. Even the number of petrol pumps is much less than we have at Delhi. The only reason is that quality of Fuel and vehicles is ensured.
We claim that the only city in the World has entire bus fleet. If we go around the Country we find that in order to accommodate the ever growing need of space to accommodate ever increasing number of personal vehicles massive deforestation has taken place whether it is Mumbai Pune Expressway or NH-1 or NH-8. Even accredited NGO without any credible studies and analysis continue to blame the Diesel vehicles responsible for pollution little realizing that world over the Diesel is being used as one of the fuels for public transport.
operating on Cleanest Fuel is the City of Delhi. We don’t assess the damage to the environment caused by the long queues of vehicles waiting for their turn at such filling stations located on the main City Roads due to congestion on roads. Even the suggestions to the State Government to change the filling timings from peak hours to non peak hours did not find favor. Who cares? Because as and when Bureaucrats, Politicians, Judges or Senior Police Officers pass through particular area their vehicles find smooth traffic as the Traffic cops manage to give them smooth rides.
It is the common citizens who breaths pollution and bears the brunt. The lax attitude of the Ministry of Environment & Forest is clear from the fact that the Ministry of Environment & Forest has issued a White Paper on Pollution in the City of Delhi still the position continues to go from bad to worse.
– OE News Bureau