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Environmental Issues In Delhi

Delhi is the highest city in the country in terms of pollution. Ranked eighth in the world in terms of population, pollution at its peak poses a huge hazard to the people, plants and animals residing in the city.

The increased number of engines in the city emits some harmful gases that endanger the environment to a large extent. The public and private sector vehicles that are diesel operated, also contribute to air pollution in a big way. Too many people sharing too little water that is available in scarcity in the city suffocates the environment in a big way. With the increase in population, there has been a corresponding increase in the number of automobiles in the city. This gives rise to increased noise pollution in the city. Though the city is highly developed and has a large number of tourists visiting it very year, the treatment of waste materials is not up to standard norms and hence banks of famous rivers like Yamuna are damaged beyond imagination. Due to its not so hygienic and neat environment, Delhi is almost out of race amongst the cities that are vying to host the 2014 Asian Games.


Air Pollution

Air Pollution affects pregnant women and children the most. When harmful particles like sulphur dioxide are mixed in the air, then it affects the heart of human beings very badly and causes cardiovascular diseases. When another toxic substance, carbon monoxide is mixed along with the blood of human body, it affects the nervous system, causes imbalance in tissues and making kids, pregnant ladies and aged people easy targets. With all the vehicles and automobiles emitting tons and tons of toxic gases, ozone leakage is quite high and it causes irreversible damage to citizens.

Water Pollution

Waste from industrial estate is not treated properly and leaks off to rivers and lakes nearby. Thus, drinking water gets contaminated and causes serious health hazards to people who consume this water.

Noise Pollution

Continuous honking from vehicles, increased noise from loudspeakers, aircraft or industries can create lots of noise pollution. People who reside in areas where noise pollution is high are prone to have reduced hearing, increased blood pressure and lack of proper sleep.

Management of Waste

Techniques of managing waste that is emitted from residential apartments, industries, commercial buildings etc. is not so advanced. There is not much awareness about differentiating the waste materials as recyclable and non- recyclable.

Electronic Waste

Electronic items that are used in homes and other commercial establishments are prone to lots of wear and tear and therefore they are disposed of quickly without proper techniques.

Industrial and Biomedical Waste

Some of the biotechnological industries and hospitals emit some really toxic material that causes serious health damages to human beings and other livestock.

Yamuna River

Yamuna River is one of the major water sources of Delhi. However, it is affected a lot by pollution of the city’s industries and vehicles. In a survey that was conducted in 2007, it was found out that almost 50% of the city’s sewage flows into the river. Though there are quite a few waste management techniques, the degree of corruption is very high therefore the techniques do not function well always. Waste products from around 1500 nearby buildings were flowing into the river.

The Government took serious note of this issue only during the year 1994, when the issue was blown out of proportion by the media. Clean-up activities were initiated around 2001 and around 2011, the Government sanctioned INR 1357 crores for cleaning drainage before entry into the river.

Loss of Flora and Fauna

Not just human beings that are getting affected by this excessive pollution in the city, but the plants and all kinds of vegetation are getting affected too. The Metro Train System and the Rapid Bus system was set up after cutting down a lot of trees and according to the Forest Act of Delhi, it was agreed that the Government would plan ten saplings for every single tree that was cut down to protect the greenery of the city.

Proposed Solutions

The DDA (Delhi Development Authority) is the institution that is entrusted with the responsibility of controlling the pollution in the city and setting up effective waste disposal and management techniques. Out of around 40,000 odd hectares in the city, around 8400 hectares are set aside for development of flora and fauna. The DDA takes care of around 5000 hectares of this and follows specific procedures for planting new trees, increasing public awareness, effective waste disposal etc.

Though the policies are in place, it is becoming quite tedious to implement them, because of the ever increasing population of the city. In spite of spending around 500 million USD for cleaning up the Yamuna River during 1993 to 2005, there was no development in this front and the pollution only grew to greater levels.


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