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Delhi govt has a DIY cure for air pollution: Lock everyone inside

Amrutha Pagad
Amrutha PagadNov 15, 2021 | 16:50

Delhi govt has a DIY cure for air pollution: Lock everyone inside

The Centre and the Delhi government are scrambling to find ways to tackle a predictable air pollution crisis, after the Supreme Court pulled each by its collars. The air quality in the national capital region has turned cancerous. Some say they can even taste the pollution in Delhi. If you live in NCR, you might too.

WHAT'S THE IDEA? After failing to act early, the Delhi government has proposed a jugaad to tackle air pollution. And it is – hold my cigarette – a (ok, another) lockdown.

Now have a puff of that cigarette because the NCR air is anyway ensuring you do smoke even if you don't.

647_111521044908.jpgDelhi is the third most polluted city in the world as on Monday. Illustration: DailyO

The Delhi government told the Supreme Court that it is ready for a lockdown, if push came to shove (as if it hasn’t already) to tackle the air quality. To be fair, it was the Supreme Court’s suggestion for a two-day lockdown, because the Centre and Delhi government didn’t have any answers to what their plans were.

The Delhi government says that if a lockdown is to be imposed, it needs to be imposed in the entire NCR region. Imposing lockdown only in the compact city of Delhi, whose air depends on the air of neighouring areas, will not be helpful.

A lockdown would put a stop to vehicular movement for a couple of days, but is that enough? 

647_1_111521030649.jpgDelhi chokes on air pollution. Illustration: DailyO

You might not have heard of a ‘pollution lockdown’ till this day. And now you're wondering, is lockdown really the one-trick-serves-all solution for everything?

Covid-19? Lockdown.

Air pollution? Lockdown.

What’s next, a lockdown to solve the economic crisis?

THE CHATTER ONLINE: A lockdown is nothing but to essentially put lakhs of citizens in house arrest for causes out of their control. The hyperbole is not lost on netizens. Some have called it a knee-jerk reaction, superficial - just like cleaning foam on the Yamuna by spraying water.

WHAT'S BEHIND THE POLLUTION? The Supreme Court recently concluded that transport, industries, and vehicular traffic are major contributors to the pollution. And Centre told the apex court on Monday that stubble burning, which is also blamed for the pollution, only contributes to about 10% of the pollution.

Severe air pollution in Delhi and adjoining areas is nothing new. It happens every winter and mostly coincides with Diwali. But this time, pollution hit Delhi earlier than Diwali, leaving governments scratching their heads on what/who to blame.

As of Monday, Delhi is the third most polluted city on this planet, after China's Chengdu and the Pakistani capital, Lahore. 

647-2_111521022551.jpgMeme on Delhi's persistent air pollution problem. Image Credit: @VelhaPanti Facebook

Last updated: November 15, 2021 | 16:50
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