Climate Science and Technology

North India: Covered in Smog & Diwali

Every year north India esp. Delhi face hazardous conditions in the form of Smog, which is a concentration form of smoke and fog.

As per SAFAR (System of Air Quality and Weather Forecasting and Research): The Air quality of Delhi is at the level of approximately 370 µgm-3 (Very Poor) and will jump to severe i.e., more than 400 on the eve of Diwali.

 

CAUSES:

  • Weather Conditions: The weather in North India is cold and calm in the winter. All the vehicle and dust pollution get accumulated in the lower layer of the atmosphere.
  • Diwali Celebration: Huge amount of pollution just before the winter can be seen with naked eyes in the form of cracker burning. Esp. in North India.
  • Stubble Burning: There is a practice of burning the stack stubble after harvesting, particulates out of which concentrates towards Delhi due to wind direction from Haryana, Punjab and Uttar Pradesh.

Some climatic conditions also take part in enhancing the same like:

  • Wind Speed: High speed of wind disperse the pollutants, however it can also generate dust particles in rural area.
  • Inversion of Layer: It is an important cause since it can trap the colder air underneath the warm air and the pollutants will get concentrated in lower layer of atmosphere due to horizontal winds.
  • Sunshine: It can accelerate the chemical reactions and support photo chemical smog.

Smog causes a lot of deaths and health conditions and it is important to take steps towards it. There are certain initiatives that are taken by Government of India towards the same.

  • SAFAR App to provide real time air quality check and three days advance conditions to work upon.
  • Sustainable Alternative Towards Affordable Transportation (SATAT), a new policy to produce (CBG) Compressed Bio-Gas from decomposition of waste (which include Stubble also).
  • Supreme Court has put certain restriction on the cracker burning in its recent judgement.
  • A Mass Rapid Transport System (MRTS) is being constructed with the aim of providing a non-polluting, useful and affordable rail-based mass rapid transit system for Delhi, integrated with other modes of transport.
  • Government has banned the manufacturing of BSLV III engines, and implemented policy to ensure that only eco-friendly BSLV IV engine is manufactured.

 

WHAT CAN WE BE DO?

  • Efficient involvement of Resident Welfare Associations in various localities in collection, segregation of garbage from houses and the societies.
  • Citizens can take steps to covert the garbage into compost in their localities.
  • More and more trees must be planted in every locality.
  • Try using public transport or pooling vehicles.
  • Make more use of CNG. Every individual should keep a proper check on the pollution level of their vehicles.
  • Most importantly, celebrate Diwali as our ancestor’s way to keep culture alive. Use Oil Lamps, sweet ad share the love.

 

BONUS

PURPOSE OF DIWALI AS PER OUR ANCIENT WRITINGS:

  • Festival of Lights: At the end of exile, Rama returned to Ayodhya, and was crowned king. Upon their (Rama, Sita and Lakshmana) arrival in the city, they were welcomed joyfully by its citizens, who lighted thousands of earthen lamps.
  • Make world a Better Place: Tulasidasa wrote an account of the life of Rama in his version of the Ramayana. According to Tulasidasa, Rama’s return from exile ushered in a period of peace and prosperity, characterized by the absence of poverty, illiteracy, disease, and violence.
  • Diwali symbolizes the spiritual “victory of light over darkness, good over evil and knowledge over ignorance”.

We have seen Diwali as a festival with different names i.e., Dipotsava, Dipavali, Divali and Divalige. Since the age of Rashtrakutas there is an evidence of Diwali. Interestingly we didn’t see the use of fire-works in any of the scenario. The actual festival of Diwali is filled with earthen lamp lights and lots of love. How about we start following this tradition and start building our green future without smog.

 

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