WHY IS NEW DELHI SO POLLUTED?
What Has Been Done & What Needs To Be Done
It is a matter of fact that New Delhi, by far, is the most polluted city on the planet. Not a good thing for the citizens' health, for the tourist industry, or for conducting business. Yale and Columbia universities declared that both India and China have the highest concentration of air pollutants in the world. The World Health Organization (WHO) reported that India is even worse than China when it comes to air pollution.
Water pollution in the Yamuna River is a serious problem, also. Raw sewage is thrown into the river. There is no filtering or treatment of the water to remove the contaminates. Some of the ghat priests have displayed their dismay about the condition of the river and the practices people use which do not respect the river. There are reasons for traditional practices which respect the river.
In the Vedic tradition ecology is the main theme. The Vedas has the first explanation of the ecosystem of planet Earth. Krishna extolled the greatness of trees and explained their importance in the ecosystem in the Bhagvat Purana. Ecology is one of the main themes and values of the Vedas. How can a country with this kind of tradition allow air pollution to get to the point where it is so bad that you can literally see it in the air? It is because people tolerate it.
In the United States, many years ago when I was a child, there was a river near the Great Lakes called the Cuyahoga River which actually burned from the pollutants in the river. The Americans got so mad about this that they protested and got legislation passed so that the river was cleaned up and government funds were used for this purpose. Not only the river itself but a number of the Great Lakes were cleaned up as a result of their advocacy. People stood up and did not tolerate the pollution.
A popular songwriter, Randy Newman, wrote a song about the river burning. This got people's attention. India needs some musicians and Bollywood actors and actresses to come out in favor of solving this pollution problem in New Delhi and raise funds for this purpose. Thirteen of the world's most polluted cities are located in India, according to the WHO. This is intolerable.
Recently the Indian Supreme Court ruled on these air pollution problems. According to the BBC (British Broadcasting Corporation), there is a temporary ban on the sale of diesel vehicles which are more than 10 years old from entering New Delhi. Luxury cars and SUVs with more than 2000 cc engine capacity can't be registered there from January 1st to March 31, 2016. The environmental tax has been doubled on commercial trucks entering the city. Taxis in Haryana, Uttar Pradesh, Rajasthan and New Delhi must convert to using natural gas by March 31st. The commercial trucks account for over 50% of the air pollutants in the area. Private vehicles with odd and even registration numbers can only operate every other day.
More people will need to ride their Metro rail system rather than just jump into vehicles. In the USA we have pollution devices put on every car sold here. Some states have emission tests on older vehicles. India needs a celebrity who can promote their public transportation system. More public funding is needed worldwide on rail, subway and bus systems in order to cut down on air pollution.
While India has planted more trees, like the USA, it needs to plant even more and have some celebrities promote the idea. Many Indians love their movies. Why not get Bollywood actors and actresses to make a movie on Krishna's great statements on the greatness of trees? If all who have houses could plant fruit trees blessed by the priests and pandits, it would help with global warming and mitigate air pollution.
Use of coal plants needs to be discouraged. Governments and non-profits worldwide need to promote wind, solar and other alternatives such as geothermal for power generation. Innovation needs to be promoted and encouraged.
Industrial pollution is tolerated too much in India. Standards need to be developed and economic incentives need to be developed where companies get tax credits for implementing environmental practices and innovations. Governments and non-profits could collaborate in these kinds of enterprises. Instead of banning donations to Greenpeace and other environmental organizations from foreign countries, India needs to promote donations for these kinds of projects. Modi needs to quit harassing these environmental organizations and actually welcome their vision and expertise.
Monsanto should be fined for causing so many environmental problems worldwide. Many countries are rejecting their products. People need to stop using their products and go organic and non-toxic instead.
Big food companies in the USA have removed additives from their food because people want natural and organic foods instead. The food coops and natural food groceries get more and more business because the public finally is starting to eat in a more healthy manner. The general public needs to start to do the same when it comes to the topic of air pollution. Carpool, use public transit, buy electric cars, use bikes, use hour cars for errands, and other means of keeping pollution level down are what we need to be doing. If we all do our part, global warming can be reduced.
All spiritual traditions need to look at their sacred spaces and become more energy efficient, recycle, compost, use solar lighting in the parking lots, promote car pooling and public transit, clean up the toxic waste dumps in their bathrooms, and use green products instead. Use ceramic plates and real silverware rather than paper plates. Use dish washers to clean the plates and silverware. You can cut down on your trash bill, too, by implementing these practices.
Finally, honor Krishna's great discourse on the trees every year near Earth Day. It's so sad to see his playground being littered by trash. Mother Bhumi will love it when you do something wonderful for the Earth.
JAI SHRI KRISHNA! JAI SHRI BHUMI! JAI SHRI ACTIVISM!