Letter to BS: Crackers, farmers not the only reason for air pollution

Women performing Chhath rituals in polluted Yamuna.
Your excellent editorial (“Action plan for Delhi”, November 6) very logically puts the currently contentious issue in the right perspective. Indeed, the huge nuisance created by Diwali crackers happens only for a couple of days every year and the stubble burning, a major irritant, also gets highlighted for a month or so around the same time but all of us — governments and the society — make these two virtually the only culprits, the two big demons playing havoc with the lives of people in NCR! This is clearly — as your editorial argues — a wrong and an unbalanced approach. We tend to somehow ignore the bigger causes of our misery that haunt us throughout the year. Totally irrational, to say the least.

We must stop politicising the issue and playing the blame game and consequently taking ad hoc measures and instead concentrate on the real issues with a “comprehensive action plan” with the central pollution control board coming out with “an official report on ambient air quality, specific sources of pollution and their share of contribution as well as allocation of tasks for corrective action”. Such a central government backed report should then form the basis of action plan by various authorities and at different levels.

Stubble burning is indeed a cause but not the sole one. Notwithstanding the bigger blunder of paddy farming in Punjab and Haryana — with its consequential disastrous effects on water stress — and the ugly politics at the root of this ill-advised cropping pattern — let’s admit that several other sources of pollution, within the NCR are probably much bigger contributors to the havoc being played with the lives of people, especially children and elderly — a sound action plan, with strong implementation, should be able to set right the horrid situation.

Krishan Kalra, Gurugram Letters can be mailed, faxed or e-mailed to:

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