The Indian capital city, Delhi is tackling a serious issue of air pollution. The pollutants in the air have increased continuously, especially after Diwali. The state is in such a worse condition that, the government has also declared a pollution emergency.
How to get control over this pollution is the real question. Various countries have taken different types of initiatives to combat this issue. Many of the countries promote cycling as the mode of transport and have also banned cars in areas which are more prone to pollution. But what is our Delhi doing? Let’s take a look:
What Is Delhi Doing?
Delhi government has planned to take a few initiatives to control pollution. The state has started the odd and even scheme from 4th November.
According to this rule, vehicles with even number plates will be allowed on the roads on consequent days and vice versa. The government is hoping for a decrease in pollution level with this rule.
Also, Delhi has been a great promoter of CNG for a long time. The government is also encouraging the use of CNG instead of petrol and diesel. More use of public transport is also encouraged. Burning of garbage and dried leaves are also banned for quite some time in order to bring the pollution levels under control.
The government had also banned crackers sale in Delhi during Diwali; however, people still bursted the crackers; leading to a “severe plus” air quality the next morning.
Also Read: Odd-Even Rule Back In Delhi
But are these steps enough to control pollution or the government should do more? Let us have a look at some of the countries which tackled the heavy air pollution level.
5 Countries Who Made The Air – “Pollution Free“
Long-term exposure to particulate pollution can result in significant health problems like asthma and cancer. Reports from the World Health Organisation (WHO) shows that 9 out of 10 people breathe air containing high levels of pollutants.
Given these alarming facts and figures, what are countries world-over doing to better the situation? And what can Delhi learn from them? Read on:
France is a country that is known for its monuments and history. Not only this, they ensure that they protect their heritage as well. Paris has banned motorized vehicles in the central district.
The local administration also actively encourages people to use public transport, cycles, and other eco-friendly means of travel. All conventional cars built before 1997 have been banned from entering the city between 8:00 a.m. and 8:00 p.m. Drivers who breach this rule are fined heavily.
A look at the air quality index of Oslo, the capital of Norway, will show you that most parts of the country enjoy ‘good’ air quality. Only a few states are marked with ‘moderate’ air quality.
There are restrictions on the use of studded tires, speed reductions, road maintenance and the replacement of old, polluting stoves. The country also provides several incentives to its citizens. Oslo has recently offered electric vehicle users free passes on toll roads and public ferries, access to taxi and bus lanes to avoid traffic, and further tax benefits.
Like many other things, India and China were on the same page when it came to the pollution levels in their countries. However, the administration in China worked hard to ensure that they moved away from having hazardous air quality. China declared a war on pollution and worked hard to make the air pure.
The country followed some strict steps like shutting down polluting factories, promoting eco-friendly technologies, banning high-emissions vehicles, preventing coal consumption and so on.
In Germany, cheaper housing and public transport is provided to those who use a bicycle instead of a car. In many parts of Germany, one can benefit from the trade-in schemes, whereby drivers of older diesel vehicles could trade them in for new models for generous discounts. Another popular scheme is the retrofit scheme, which would see car manufacturers install new hardware in older diesel engines aimed at reducing emissions levels.
Prioritizing bikes over cars has ensured that Copenhagen now has more cycles than people. The administration lays a lot of emphasis on ensuring that people use public transportation as much as possible. Large parts of the Danish capital have been closed to vehicles for decades, and the city plans to become carbon neutral by 2025.
These are some of the ways in which some of the countries applied in order to overcome the pollution problem. Hope Delhi also takes a strong step. Till then “Stay Safe Delhi!”.
Also Read: Delhi Is Choking: How Can You Save Yourself?