India’s National Capital Region once again witnesses its worst air quality of the year. The Air Quality Index reached its maximum level of 999 in Anand Vihar, while all other regions were reported to be under ‘hazardous’, ‘severe’ and ‘severe + emergency’ category. The air quality worsened, quickly, after Diwali celebrations.
Even after the Supreme Court’s judicial order (which permitted bursting of ‘green crackers’ between 8-10 pm) there were numerous people who chose to be ignorant of the verdict. And all of them blissfully contributed to the deteriorating the AQI, which significantly increased the impact of this man-made disaster.
Albert Einstein famously said “Once you stop learning, you start dying.” The present situation in Delhi resonates with Einstein’s words. The national capital has witnessed this situation for the past several years. And yet, Delhi hasn’t learnt the mantra of avoiding it. By Delhi, I don’t intend to blame the executive all together. The people are largely responsible in making this city wake up to a choking air quality (of the worst level) every year, after Diwali.
I don’t understand why it is so difficult for those (who are culprits) to accept that bursting crackers is a major factor in increasing the concentration of deadly PM 2.5 and PM 10 particles in the atmosphere. Moreover, it’s surprising that Delhi’s affluent colonies are the ones immensely involved in this activity.
People who support bursting crackers normally say that this is a ritual followed since the ‘Treta Yuga’ and whatever the situation might be, it should never be discontinued. Well, I don’t agree, because rituals can only be followed if we are alive to follow them. I won’t follow any ritual which will subsequently prove deadly to my well-being. Common sense!
On the other hand, the Delhi Police has also failed in acting efficiently to ensure the proper implementation of the SC’s order. Although, there have been a few arrests, the number is minuscule with respect to customary offenders. There should be an extensive inquiry and proper investigation. Following which, the offenders who were celebrating—breaking the law—should be charged with contempt of court.
Some people may talk about stopping stubble burning in farms first, which is again a major reason for such pollution. They should know that stopping stubble-burning is a far more difficult and complex task than celebrating a cracker-less Diwali. It will involve major planning, resource and monetary allocation, and good leadership from the administration. Whereas, post-Diwali pollution can be easily curbed by us, if we are more sensible and sensitive towards the environment–and our health.
It’s obvious that political parties will not utter a word; because of their political agendas. So the burden completely falls upon us to fulfill our responsibility in a sensible manner. I used to burst loads of crackers worth thousands of rupees, till class XI. But I realised my mistake, and since then, I’ve not even touched a fuljhadi (sparkler).
Belated Happy Diwali.