There are two phases of the answer to the question ‘Why do you drive a car if you love your environment so much?’. One is the historical phase which involves the importance of vehicular transportation, the Geo-political landscape of India and the recent urban development in the last decades. The other is the Pappu phase. Let’s begin.
After 1947, India evolved quite slowly as compared to its neighbour China. While our Asian neighbour has seen a massive improvement in the standard of living, we also have raised several million people out of poverty. The main reason for the development was the electrification of India, the building of highways, and the growth of the IT sector. Although we still suffer from massive corruption, things are improving albeit at a slow rate.
Now, with massive economic growth comes increased consumption of resources. Both are almost linearly related to each other. Who is responsible for this pollution? , you might ask. Well in the NCR-Delhi region, vehicular pollution is one of the main factors for the pollution but it is also the reason for the massive economic growth of the region.
In order to curb the pollution, we have emission norms also known as Bharat Stage norms. Currently, India is using the BS-4 emission norms and will transition to BS-6 norms on April 1st 2020. These will cut down the pollution by almost 50%.
Now with all of this, you must be thinking ‘if pollution norms are so effective then why isn’t Delhi’s air nice and clean?’. The answer has two points and one factor.
First, due to the presence of a decade old vehicles which are still being used in the city on a regular basis. You must have heard about the recent order of the supreme court to ban all petrol cars which are more than 15 years old and all diesel cars which are more than 10 years old in Delhi-NCR. Well, in reality, that order was actually meant to be delivered a few years earlier but it got lost in ‘bureaucracy’.
The other thing which got lost in ‘bureaucracy’ is the culling of the unregulated burning of garbage in the Ghazipur, Seemapuri, Nirman Vihar, Laxmi Nagar, Dilshad Garden, and Anand Vihar. People keep burning the garbage because nobody stops them and because nobody collects it from the road. The condition of someone living in Ghazipur is worse than the street dogs living outside my house, who get to breathe fresh air, drink clean water and eat non-toxic fruits and vegetables. Guess, the responsibility of providing basic needs to the millions of people got lost in bureaucracy somehow.
It is also the fault of the people who live in such areas and are not ready to accept the fact that they have a life-span of around 50 years and will probably die due to lung or kidney related diseases.
The reality is funnier than a meme. The rich and elite, who probably do not even live in Delhi but a nice clean town, were applauding the people who were bursting crackers late at night in Delhi by defying the supreme court’s order.
The funniest prank played on the people of Delhi is the Statue of Unity in Gujarat. You see according to a New York Times report, 75 million dollars were needed to get rid of the trash mountains surrounding Delhi but the government chose to spend 290 million dollars on a statue.
So next time when you see a dude from Seemapuri, or Delhi, drinking toxic water and breathing equally toxic air. Telling you to give up your car if you love the environment so much, just buy him another rocket or ‘Sutli-bomb’ so he may live-fast and die young.