A look into Delhi’s future

I recently chanced upon a news article entitled “Delhi lacks long-term plan to check industrial pollution”. This has caught my interest as long-term planning and foresight is critical in managing industrial pollution. This is because the effects of industrial pollutants are not immediate and this time lag results in the need for present action to be undertaken to curb industrial that pollution in the future of the atmosphere of Delhi.

In the article, it is reported that “industries and power plants in and around Delhi are the biggest source of pollutants” (Shrivastav, 2016). This shows that the issue pressing on Delhi are not only point sources but there are non-point sources too. Figure 1 shows some of the contribution of industries’ pollutants into the Delhi’s atmosphere.

screen-shot-2016-10-24-at-11-07-46-am Figure 1: Sources of major pollutants in the atmosphere  of Delhi (Retrieved from Shrivastav, 2016)

Point sources also exacerbate the industrial pollution in the vicinity of Delhi(Figure 2) where the “two power plants are major sources of fly-ash” (ibid.). These are point sources but maybe a non-point sources to other regions where the fly-ash can travel over distances to reach the atmosphere of the neighbouring cities of Delhi.

screen-shot-2016-10-24-at-11-12-20-am

Figure 2: Polluting industrial areas in Delhi (Retrieved from Shrivastav, 2016)

The most pressing issue to the atmosphere of Delhi is the lack of political will to curb industrial pollutants emissions. While efforts have been implemented to control fly-ash, officials from the environmental department still admits that it “becomes a problem in summers”, probably due to the lack of funding available  for technological assistance in minimising the emissions of fly-ash(ibid.).

Moreover, these industries can exploit the legal loopholes and engage in the use of “low-quality fuel, including furnace oil, illegally” (ibid.).

Also, the lack of enforcement is an issue in Delhi where the “government has not conducted any inspections to check if the industries are violating the fuel norms” (ibid.). This could be due to the perception from the government that these industries are essential for economic development of the country, and hence reduce their willingness to fine these industries for fear that the transition to a cleaner industry will incur much cost and time from the industries.

As such, one immediate solution to be undertaken is to increase the political will and awareness of the harmful effects of these industrial pollutants. When the higher authorise are aware of the harmful effects, they will be more inclined to have actions in place for the long-term planning of the reduction of industrial pollutants being emitted by the industries. Enforcement will also be stronger and close monitoring will also reduce the emissions illegally.

Reference

Shrivastav, K. S. (2016). Delhi lacks long-term plan to check industrial pollution. HindustanTimes. New Delhi. Retrieved from http://www.hindustantimes.com/delhi/delhi-lacks-plan-to-check-industrial-pollution/story-XvnVL4h3w1ki2mdhFb9fuK.html

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