common citizen

Subhadarsini Das

June 17, 2021 |

Air Pollution and Common Citizen

We all  know about air pollution. More or less. From the very beginning of our life we are seeing air pollution around us. Some may see it as urban air pollution or some experience it as industrial air pollution. When we were kids we did not know about its consequences and reason of happening. We were taught in our school text books or school rallies in annual day celebration about air pollution.
Now time has come to think about it and act on it. Although in India we have laws, rules and acts for control and abatement of air pollution, but still we are struggling and fighting for clean air. There are scenarios of selling of fresh air from the hills and valleys in certain areas. So in very coming future the vendors in the road-side will start selling fresh air in pockets and jars. No surprising in it!
Yes there are natural sources of air pollution like forest fire, volcanic eruption etc. But what about the man made air pollution? Air pollution from industries, mines, vehicles, construction activities, domestic wood combustion so on and so on, never ending list. No doubt, development is essential and modernization is required. But not in the name of development and modernization, we will kill mother earth. In every aspect there is a limit and we should not go beyond that limit. How can we stand and smile in the high level of PM10 and PM2.5 in our atmosphere!! Standing in smart attire, black glasses, pinky shoes in smoky atmosphere never make any sense.
In India we have regulators who regulate environmental air pollution viz. Central Pollution Control Board (CPCB) in country level and State Pollution Control Board (SPCB) at State level / Pollution Control Committees (PCC) at Union Territories. They keep on monitoring air quality and inspecting different man made air pollution sources. Their all effort and labor are worthless unless until the citizens of the country can not breath fresh air. In India we have National Clean Air Program (NCAP) for the cities where the level of Air Pollution has exceeded the National Ambient Air Quality Standard (NAAQS). Steps are being taken at different levels and action plans are being imposed at different sectors, to improve air quality in those cities.
But what is the role of a common citizen? Have we thought about it? Have we desired to do something for our society for clean air? Or we are busy in throwing the trash to our neighbors and  burning the waste next to the building! We fools do not understand that when we burn some trash, it will not affect anyone in our nearby areas. It will ultimately pollute our local atmosphere and air around our buildings.
But somehow when Nation is busy in devastating the forest for establishing industries & mines, we have grown money plants in our drawing hall and kitchen garden on our terrace! Yes that little we can do when sit and expect our Govt to do some for us. We being the citizen of this country can contribute few more things for better future of our next generation;
* Plant few more fruiting trees
* Stop our-self in burning leaves, trash, other materials
* Start composting leaves and yard waste/ kitchen waste
* Keep our vehicle engine properly tuned and tires properly inflated
* Use environmentally safe paints and cleaning products in our houses
* Start car pooling and use public transport
* Conserve Energy at home, workplace, everywhere
* Look for Energy Start labels when buying home or office electronic equipment
* Refuel our car / bike in the evening when weather is cooler
It is very true, how rich you may be but you can not escape yourself from the air pollution. You can not stop yourself from breathing! You can not stop yourself from living! Each small step taken by us towards clean air makes a big difference in future. So start doing a little for our atmosphere and for our future generation, for our offspring.

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