The following article is based on my own interpretation of the said events. Any material borrowed from published and unpublished sources has been appropriately referenced. I will bear the sole responsibility for anything that is found to have been copied or misappropriated or misrepresented in the following post.
Darshan H D, MBA 2015-17, Vinod Gupta School of Management, IIT Kharagpur
The Delhi government implemented the Odd even plan from 1st Jan 2016 with an aim to reduce air pollution. This policy was following the report by WHO, in which New Delhi is recognised as the most polluted city in the world. The decision to implement policy created a lot of fuss and was one of the most debated topics in the media as it is first time that any state government has implemented this type of policy.
The initial reports showed marginal improvement in the quality of air, but the reports released on 10th January by IndiaSpend and NAQI revealed that there was no considerable improvement in the quality of air. Although the policy seems to be a failure, Delhi government showed an intent at least to experiment on ways to reduce the air pollution.
With Delhi being at the focal point, the big picture is blurred. Among the top 20 most polluted cities, reported by WHO, 15 are in India. “Except Delhi, all other state governments seemed to have a sense of satisfaction about it”. Not only have the state governments but the central government also pushed the problem aside and having an indolent winter.
I do believe that the responsibility to improve the quality of air rests not only with government but also with each individual. But the government has failed to create awareness among the public with respect to air pollution reaching alarming levels. “In fact, they were waiting for the World Health Organisation to conduct a survey to enlighten about this fact”. Nevertheless, it is time for us to gear up and take measures to control air pollution as the next generation and the generation to come, have a right to quality air and we don’t have the authority to take that away from them.
Gandhiji once said “The future depends on what we do today”, so high time we think about tomorrow ramifications of today’s actions to save the purity of the air we breathe.