Delhi-The pollution and the probable solution

Pollution is an everyday story. Just that it has been repeated for so long that it needs to be changed. And it was. 10 years back, when Delhi had a hard time breathing in the polluted air, a life-saving option of using CNG was opted. 10 years later, we have repeated the same story and neutralised all the good effects the CNG option did.

So practically,10 years later, we are back to square one, with one option like CNG exhausted. We are in a grimmer situation and its time to take some drastic measures, well unless, we want the children to grow up wearing a mask all the time, feel like they are living in a gas chamber and obviously blame the previous generations. Imagine if our previous generations had done something like that. We would not have been living in the first place!!!

Instead we were blessed with this beautiful world to live in, but we have been so reckless, that it has been reduced to ashes. If you still do not understand the severity of the situation, this recent tweet by our CM makes the state of Delhi’s air pretty clear:

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One pair of lungs belong to a 55-year-old person from Himachal Pradesh and the other was that of a 52-year-old person in Delhi (Kejriwal’s Twitter Handle)

So, the newly introduced odd-even formula by Delhi government amidst this crucial Delhi environment crisis which has taken everyone by storm, is actually the need of the hour.

On one hand people are ready to accept the odd-even scheme, given the deplorable situation but on the other hand, there is a thought process going on as to how we all will commute to workplace everyday, given the misery it is to use public transport, especially during office hours. To this I would just like to say, “Where there is a will, there is a way!”

Top Doctors in the city have recently advised people to move out of Delhi if they want to save their children from fatal lungs disorders, severe respiratory problems, nausea, throat infection, pressure and fatigue. Yes! The situation is that grim. I am not really sure if we all should wait for the government to implement the odd-even scheme itself!!!

This point reminds me of a great children’s story. Once there is a raging fire in a forest. All the big animals – lions, tigers, elephants start running away. They suddenly stop and see in the air a little bird. The bird is picking up a drop of water and putting it on the raging fire – to and fro. The animals laughed at her and call her stupid. So she says – I may be stupid, but I am doing what I can.

How about we start putting in our efforts early?

We can once again pay heed to the “Clean Delhi Green Delhi” campaign. The more trees we have, the cleaner air we get. We can begin by opting for eco-friendly and healthy options like taking a cycle or walking instead of using a vehicle for going to a nearby place.

For longer distances, we can opt out for public transport. But public transport can be a bit of difficult option, especially in the office hours. I came across a solution for this problem recently – Ola Shuttle. I had heard of it but never got a chance to try it as I have my office bus at a specific time or an option of car pool often. I happened to try it today, as both the above options did not suit my time and realized how apt this thing is, especially in the current state of affairs.

Ola shuttle offers tempo travellers/ buses on various routes in Delhi NCR with a number of stops and fixed timings. Hop on from any location at your own convenience. Just choose the Ola Shuttle option in your app, browse the drop and pick up locations which suit you best and check if the shuttle is available for your route. If it is, it will give you a number of options for the timings as well. If it not, just shuffle between nearest drop and pick-up locations a bit and you will find a match suiting your requirement. From what I have seen, there are a number of drop and pick-up locations, especially in Gurgaon where the shuttle operates.

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I loved this idea because of many reasons.

1. It is environment friendly. It took me almost the same time as my own vehicle would have, and sitting in the shuttle along with 10 other people, I realized that this shuttle is at least replacing 3-4 cars which otherwise would have been on the road!!! But I noticed that the bus was mostly empty. Imagine if it is using its full capacity! How many more cars will the same bus will replace? Yes, you did the math right! 🙂

2. It is extremely comfortable. Its mostly modelled like your office transport, but you can avail it on need basis. No need of paying for it monthly. Imagine, a pick up and drop facility, which works on schedule and which can be paid per ride basis.

3. It is immensely affordable. To travel from Gurgaon to Dwarka, you will be charged around 40 bucks!

4. You can work while travelling! (Only, if you want to. :P) Some of the shuttles have wifi facility too. And unlike public transport, it is relatively noise free.

5. Sleep rather than driving yourself. Instead of having to toil through the reckless traffic, give your car a break and make your day a little less abusive.

I am not here to promote any one alternative but all I want is to make you aware that there are alternatives available, waiting for us to take a step and use them. We don’t have any time left for talks. Its time to act. So while the government goes ahead with the odd-even formula, and does something on improving the public transport, why don’t we go ahead and make a choice of our own?

According to the latest reports, Delhi is the most polluted city in the world!! And for crying out loud, this is not something we should be proud of. On a scale of 0 to 500, where a level 0 means good air and 500 means severe air, we are at an alarming level of 999. We are way out of the radar, which means that if we let the young ones live in such an environment, they will be growing up with irreversible lung damage.

The worst thing to be scared of in the above scenario is already here-the winter fog. Smoke from all the vehicular emissions gets trapped in the winter fog creating smog, which stays in the air instead of going up. So when people say Delhi has become a gas chamber, they literally mean it. You too will not be able to deny it if you step out early in the morning or evening.

I believe if we all do what we can, we can make a difference. After all, its our city too. The air which everyone breathes in, is the air we breathe in too. Its our responsibility to keep it clean, clean enough so that our coming generations can enjoy a world they deserve. Not a gas chamber!

P.S. For more information: http://blog.olacabs.com/stop-hatin-and-start-lovin-your-daily-commutes-with-ola-shuttle/

P.S. There is another app called Shuttl which works on the same concept. This startup offers a new commuting solution to office-goers in Noida and Gurgaon. http://yourstory.com/2015/09/shuttl/

 

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