November 17th, 2017

Of pollution. And rain. And the farmers. And…

Back in Delhi, after a few days on the farm, and in countdown mode to the half marathon on Sunday, and the air quality is still a mess.

As is the official reaction, which is all over the place.

In my morning paper, on the front page, I read this, which implies stubble burning is an important factor:

But hang on a mo!  On Page 3 we read:

Talk about the left hand not knowing what the right hand is doing.

My running group Whatsapp chat was ablaze this morning with “sightings” of drizzle in this or that part of Delhi.

We are all pinning our hopes on rain washing away this toxic muck, whereas the 75000 litres of water sprayed into the Delhi air to reduce pollution has been adjudged useless.  Go figure:

So, if we try, non-scientifically, to collate all the facts, the Delhi scenario looks a little like this:

Last week.  Farmers burning stubble in Punjab & Haryana. BAD.

This week.  Oh, actually, perhaps not so bad, after all.  Yeah, it’s more all that dust from Kuwait and Saudi Arabia.  NEW BAD.

Last week.  We need to water the air to disperse the pollution.  YES.

This week.  Oh wait, no actually it didn’t work, and wasted 75000 litres in the process. NEW BAD.

Last week. Polluting trucks to be banned from Delhi. YES.

This week.  Oh hang on, the AQI (Air Quality Index) dropped a wee bit, so let the trucks come in again. NO LONGER BAD.

Wind, rain, dust, cars, thermal power plant, construction, traffic mess, inadequate public transport,  farmers…who or what have I forgotten in this blame game?

Whom are we poor Delhiwalas supposed to blame?  Just tell us, please, so we can all rant & rail at the same thing.

Last week it was the farmers.  Now, are we supplied to yell at God for sending winds from Kuwait?

Just. Sort. The. Mess. Out.

Use that damned money you’re sitting on.  OUR money.

Rs700 crore, we are told, is sitting there as part of a green cess collected.

  • 7,000,000,000 INR is equal to 107,163,000 USD @ 65.32 Indian rupees to 1 US dollar.

The High Court has asked the Delhi Government, the Central Pollution Control Board and the Delhi Pollution Control Committee to tell us all how they intend spending all the money…and there you have a large part of the problem, my friends, in my humble opinion.

3 bodies to consult, to meet, to time-waste, while we all gasp for breath.

I am writing this at 19.30 and have just checked the PM2.5 level in my area and it’s down.

We’re only unhealthy now, down from the off-the-charts 999 of a week ago.

But if they start letting all the trucks back in, isn’t it all going to go pear-shaped again?

God help us all, because I’m not sure our civic authorities are doing much.

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