Tuesday, June 2, 2009

Steps for Clean Air Before 2010 CWG

When China’s Beijing City was preparing to host the 2008 Olympics, the city authorities divided the cars into two neat groups: odd-numbered nameplates and even-numbered nameplates. The ‘odd’ and ‘even’ cars were allowed to ply on the city’s thoroughfares on alternate days. It was neither a funny coincidence, nor a media-friendly exercise.

The drill was part of an elaborate action plan to bring down city’s much-criticized air pollution level.

As Delhi gets ready for the 2010 Commonwealth Games, the deadline to clean up its air is also inching closer.

Ninety-nine polluting units, including acid and cement units, have to be moved out by February 2010.

There is still no concrete plan to bring down the emission levels of cars the main cause of pollution.

Further, hectic construction activity is making the Capital’s air dirtier, especially in winter.
That air pollution affects athletes the most is well documented; though mostly only in the international scenario.

A 2002 study published in the medical journal Lancet said that asthma increases in children who play more than three sports in places with high ozone levels. This is because athletes tend to breathe in larger quantities of air. In Delhi (and the rest of the country), air pollution is monitored only on two spatial categories: residential areas and industrial areas. There is no monitoring of areas which are Commonwealth Games centric: like sports stadiums or the construction sites.

The Capital, meanwhile, is rolling up its sleeves to tackle dirty air at the policy level. “In a public notice, we have given 99 polluting units time till February 6, 2010 to move out of the city. If they don’t comply, they will be facing strict action,” said Dr A K Ambasht, Member Secretary, Delhi Pollution Control Committee.

At least four more city forests are also expected to come up by the time of the Games. But more needs to be done, say experts.


GP said...

no any polluting units out of 99 is closed down till today, 02-09-2010, all are working as usual.