Is There Any Solution to Delhi’s Poor Air Quality?
Yes, solutions are there to improve the quality of air.
Gas Chamber, Choking, Uneasiness…these are some words with which every Delhiite is aware of. After all, these words are so much ‘punctual’ that every year they appear on Delhi’s papers during the months of October and November. They are as regular as Diwali and Christmas!
Every year, a lot of shouting and hand-wringing happen. The air quality deteriorates, levels of PM 2.5 and PM 10 rise; and government administrators jolt into action and introduce same short-term measures which they do every year, like Odd-Even, to regulate the Delhi’s air.
However, as soon as the crisis passes, everyone forgets about Delhi’s air pollution. Ironically, here the problem is more punctual than the solution.
It’s high time the government takes steps throughout the year, not in fact when the problem arises. In addition to regulating vehicular movement, here are some of the solutions to deal with Delhi’s air quality.
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Effective Measures to Curb Air Pollution
- Acknowledge the problem
The first and foremost step that should be taken is to identify air pollution as a ‘problem’ instead of relegating it to a non-issue which only arises during the year-end. The next is to identify all the primary sources which are contributing towards the pollution. Indeed, this is a complicated exercise which can’t be quick-fixed in a day.
By planning to introduce Odd-Even car scheme in the city, the authorities seem to have identified vehicles as the major source of pollution. In contrast, various studies have proved that the major pollution contributors come from unknown sources, which may comprise of natural dust and anthropogenic emissions as well.
Therefore, it is essential that the government conducts a detailed research to find out the reasons behind pollution. Sustained actions are required to prevent recurrence of the problem, and for that, it is necessary to identify the cause (s).
- Putting waste to good use
As the burning of stubble in Punjab, Haryana and Western Uttar Pradesh is also considered as one of the prime reasons behind pollution, it is essential to look for the solution. The only way to avoid burning straw and stubble is to look for another use of the crop residue.
Luckily, there is a way: gasifying all the straw and stubble to produce a fuel gas, which can be further used for cooking, heating and powering vehicles, etc. Here, the machines which segregate crop residues, like combined harvesters, can be provided to farmers either at free of cost or at a highly subsidised rate.
- Incentivise public-transport users
Just like we get discounts during festive time, the government should also incentivise public transport users by either making it completely free or reducing the ticket fare. The government can go one step ahead and define the number of vehicles which one family can own. It is common to see that a family of three members owns two cars and many two-wheelers.
A cap on the number of vehicles to be sold in one month, hefty fine if only one person is travelling in the car, a rise in parking fees, collecting yearly fees from car users, etc.; are such measures which can be implemented to keep the pollution level under check. In addition to public transport, efforts should be made to encourage cycling and walking. Some measures like no-vehicle zones, dedicated cycle lanes, more pedestrian crossings, etc.; can be considered to lower pollution level.
- Say yes to electric vehicles
It is high time to popularise the use of electric vehicles by introducing more lucrative offers, like heavy tax waiver, several recharge points, etc. The government should make electric vehicles cheaper than fuel driven vehicles.
- Flexible work timings
Offices and other agencies should adopt a liberal approach towards giving the work from home option to their employees. In this way, it is feasible to control the number of people who step out daily for work.
Now when we have discussed, the measures to diminish the pollution in the city, let’s talk about the impact of pollution on our health. The added hazards of pollution give rise to various health ailments. Besides working towards improving the quality of Delhi’s air, it is necessary to take some crucial steps to stay fit and fine.
Some Precautionary Measures
- Take a balanced diet= It’s that time of the year when Delhi’s air gets both polluted and colder. Therefore, eat a balanced diet to build a good immune system. Eat lots of fruits which are rich in Vitamin C, omega fatty acid, etc.; along with green vegetables, aloe vera juice and triphala powder to safeguard your liver and lungs.
- Avoid outdoor exercise= Breathing heavily during an outdoor workout would only cause pollution to sink deeper into your lungs, and increase the chances of respiratory issues. So, avoid outdoor exercise regime until the air quality improves. However, don’t compromise on fitness and go with an indoor exercise regime to stay fit.
- Cover your face with a pollution mask= You can’t sit at home 24×7, and therefore, always wear a pollution mask every time you step out of your home. Usually, N95, N99 or VOG pollution masks are the most effective masks.
- Wash your house streets= Take a one step towards improving the air quality by keeping your house and neighbouring streets pollution-free. Washing the streets would settle the dust and avoid it from entering your nostrils.
- Buy health insurance in India= Ailments, like respiratory infections, stroke, heart diseases, lung cancer, trachea, etc.; with which we suffer from and hear about, are usually triggered by air pollution. While the above measures can help in building your immunity to some extent, it is necessary to go with the best health insurance policy to secure yourself in all the seasons!
In the current scenario, the medical inflation has reached a new height, and as a result, one visit to the doctor is enough to cause a dent in your pocket. It is indispensable to go with a comprehensive health insurance policy which would cover your medical expenses and make sure that you seek good treatment without worrying about the costs.
Moreover, you can go for a family floater health insurance policy to insure all your family members under one plan. Considering the spiralling medical inflation, it makes complete sense to go with the right health insurance policy in India to financially secure your assets and savings which you otherwise would have to spend on meeting your hospital bills.
If you already have a health insurance policy, you can expand the coverage with a super top-up policy which will offer you cover in case you exhaust your current health insurance coverage.
- Go green= Bring home some natural air purifiers like aloe vera, sansevieria, spider plant, etc.; which suck up all the pollutants. Here plants will not only help in improving the air quality but will also work as a mood The government can also make roof-top gardens mandatory for offices and educational institutions.
Being the capital of India, Delhi is globally looked upon as a promising investment destination. Don’t you think we should work towards making the city breathable? It is your city so Instead of blaming the government for not taking effective measures in curbing pollution level; think of what we can do as a citizen of Delhi.
Though government agencies have some powers which are not available for a common man; they can’t materialize their schemes without our support. It’s the right time that we ‘all’ gang up against the devil called ‘Pollution’.
Disclaimer: This post is meant to spread awareness about health and lifestyle issues affecting us .All healthcare and financial decisions must be taken aftter due research and expert opinion according to your own requirements.Read my full disclaimer here.