Will filing online complaint solve problem of air pollution in Ludhiana?
If the authorities concerned receive any online complaints regarding air pollution in the city, they must consider it seriously. The ignorance of the subject may cause serious damage to the environment. Also, if online complaints can't help as much as offline complaints can, then why was the online arrangement set up in the first place? Either online registered issues must be taken seriously or the society can use the right words through right social media platform to spread awareness for the cause, which would then force the superior officials to take quick action on the complaints.
A welcome step
I would like to draw the attention of the general public towards the problem of air pollution and its solution. People from all sections of society from a rickshaw puller to a professor of science, from a 5-year-old to a senior citizen are aware of the importance of clean air. But here comes a question of whether or not we keep this lifeline of ours as clean and safe. Air pollution poses a serious threat to our existence on this planet and potentially deteriorates the AQI of our city resulting in several kinds of health hazards. Causes of air pollution may include the emission of unburnt vapours of fuel from vehicles, industrial wastes, stubble burning, etc. Pollution certificates issued by the pollution checking centres have been reduced to a mere formality. Citizens can complain against those causing pollution. One of the easiest mode of complaints is online complaining. It will bring the defaulters into the notice of the authorities immediately. Online complaints can deliver only if the authorities concerned rise above the ritual of adhering to the mere formalities and honestly spring into action to punish those making mockery of the law. In fact, it is not the law but the fear of the law that rules. CCTV cameras can be used to furnish a proof of doing away with the necessary air safety rules. Technology can really work in making a difference and rendering the world a more worthy place to live and work.
Celebrate festivals in an eco-friendly way
As we know that the air pollution is increasing day by day. The latest region which is in the grip of air pollution is Delhi where health emergency-like situations are prevailing. Now, the state has launched an app 'Hawa Badlo' to lodge complaints regarding air pollution and other states are having similar app along with the central government app. But only complaining on apps will not reduce the pollution until and unless we will not take the necessary steps. It is the duty of each and every member of society to celebrate festivals eco-friendly so that the environment may not be polluted. We must avoid putting garbage on fire. We must refrain from using plastic and burn it in the open. Local government must lay floor along both sides of roads in each area so that there may not be any dust. Construction work must be carried out by covering the construction sites with some polythene papers. The speed of vehicles must be limited in the city. There must be underpasses in some busy areas. Maximum plants must be grown alongside roads and in each area. Vehicles running with petrol and diesel must be replaced with batteries or other solar or nuclear energy. We all must co-operate to restore and to protect our environment.
Increase green cover
Being a hub of industrial and agricultural activities, air pollution in Ludhiana is rising day by day. The first and the foremost solution to the problem is greenery. People should grow more and more trees. Especially, trees grown on the side lanes of the roads also add to the beauty and absorb the air pollution implemented by vehicles. The vacant spaces on the roadside should be filled with grasses. Eco-friendly transportation should be made into use. Authorities concerned should monitor air quality warnings and take action on poor air quality days.
Don’t burn waste in open
Online complaints in a number of cases can help to solve the problem of air pollution in the city and there are a number of such cases here. It has been often observed that people burn old bushes and waste resulting in air pollution. Another situation is that out of the so many industrial units in the city, one unit in or around the city may be using hard coke during the day and by producing thick smoke in the atmosphere may be polluting the air. In these conditions, any citizen may pick up courage and send an online complaint to the concerned and designated department who should reach the spot and correct the cause undone. Strict action must be taken against such gardeners and households including fine etc. To make this action work, there is a need to provide a separate telephone number for lodging the complaint and this must be given wide publicity through local newspapers and other social media for the information and necessary action by the public. Also, arrangements must be made to designate the department for lodging such complaints and to remove such debris, if a complaint of piling up is received. At present, no department seems designated for these. This must also be done soon.
Work collectively for a solution
Only complaints will not work in curing the problem of air pollution. Each and every individual will have to step forward to get this problem solved. The most basic solution of the air pollution by industries is to move away from fossil fuels, replacing them with alternative energies like solar, wind, and geothermal. Planting as much plants as possible near the industrial areas and not burning the waste disposals.
Create awareness at grassroots level
Ludhiana has innumerable industries and thousands and thousands of cars, scooters and three wheelers. They are largely responsible for the air pollution in the city. Apart from them dust and dirt arising from the construction as well as demolition works, burning of crackers and stubble burning by farmers makes the air further unfit for breathing. Only addition of the facility of filing online complaints is not going to serve any purpose. To tackle the problem, we should educate the residents at the grassroots about the hazardous effects of the menace and how to curb it. Creating awareness about the air pollutants and air quality index is of utmost importance. Those who flout the rules and regulations should get exemplary punishment. Introduction of CNG and electrical vehicles will definitely go a long way in controlling the pollution caused by vehicular emissions in the city. Car-pooling and odd and even system are also worth trying. The new rules introduced by the centre to ban the plying of old vehicles should be implemented in the letter and spirit.
Dr Sunil Chopra
Make sure complaints are resolved in time
Today is the era of digitalisation, where you can file a complaint sitting at home. It's a very easy mode but the question is whether on the other side your complaints are entertained or not? Air pollution is a very serious matter and there are many causes responsible for this. Just developing online system is not enough. The government must assign duty to responsible persons who check the complaints regularly and bring these complaints in the notice of appropriate authority so that timely actions can be taken. Filing online complaint doesn't mean that complaint will be solved within seconds or minutes unless duty must be assigned.
Effective public transport system need of hour
It is really pathetic that the air quality in Ludhiana goes on decreasing day by day. Only online complaint filing will not solve the problem. Something concrete must be done for the issue. We cannot blame a single factor for it. A multiple number of factors are at work. First is the increasing traffic in Ludhiana. There has been a manifold increase in the number of vehicles registered in the city. More harm is done to the environment by the diesel vehicles. An effective public transport system is the need of the hour, which will not only decrease the pressure of vehicles on roads, but also help in reducing pollution. Second is the increase of number of factories in the city. Though majority of the factories have been shifted outside the city, but then also still there are many small firms which may be illegally running their businesses from the heart of the city. The increasing population is already a national issue. With increasing population, the use of air conditioners and refrigerators is on the rise. These AC’s and refrigerators emit chloroflourocarbons (CFC) which are very dangerous for the ozone layer. So, all these factors work together to deteriorate the air quality in Ludhiana. It is high time that something concrete should be done to curb this air pollution, otherwise the day is not far when we all may have to carry our own oxygen cylinders to breathe in fresh air.
Bir Devinder Singh Bedi
Online system should be fast enough
The air pollution grievance redressal system has been started by the Municipal Corporation (MC) and residents can lodge online complaint for air pollution. This is a good step but in the past too the MC had started e-suvidha pages but that online system developed snag and residents cannot know the status of their complaints. If the complaints do not get solved in required time frame it leaves a bad impact on residents and they hesitate to complaint again in future. Online system should be fast enough that the status of complaint should be updated from time to time and the complaint should be resolved in a phased manner.
Dr Jasdeep Kaur
Lives at risk
Complaining online will not fulfil the purpose as local, state and central governments are least bothered to control air pollution due to their bested and political interests. Firstly, at the domestic level we should segregate our waste and should not dump untreated waste into landfills which may omit copious amounts of methane and other toxic gases. Secondly, we should use carpools instead of using our own vehicles and the government should make it mandatory or one must use public transport at least two or three days in a week. Third, the government should clean up roads by using vacuum machines. Fourth, there should be strict action for those industrialists who are polluting the environment and industrial pollution should be captured at source. Industrialists should invest more on those apparatus which may effectively treat air pollution. Fifth, the local government should put a carbon tax on all private vehicles run on fossil fuels. Sixth, there must be more tax to purchase more than two vehicles per house. Seventh, the government should give incentives for using public transport. The government should promote battery operated vehicles and the public should use gasoline fuel instead of diesel or kerosene oil in their vehicles. Eighth, all vehicle particularly those auto rickshaws which are main threat of air pollution in the city should be banned. Above all, it depends upon the will and wish of the local government and the active participation of public and moral and ethics of each and every one to live a better and pure life not for us but our children as well in a pollution free city.
Dr Mohd Saleem Farooqui
OPEN HOUSE COMMENT
Fix responsibility of PPCB, civic body
The online complaint system is an easy platform for the people to file online complaints related to air pollution. But, action is to be taken by the officials concerned.
Firstly, the government should fix the responsibility of the Punjab Pollution Control Board, the Municipal Corporation and other departments concerned to keep check on air pollution.
Once receiving any complaint, officials concerned should take timely action on the complaints. If they fail to act against complaints, the government should act against such officials for failing to perform their duty.
As ash emanating from dyeing units and other factories commonly fall on houses in nearby areas, the government should order to seal such erring factories that cause air pollution.
Besides, the departments concerned should take action against vehicles causing air pollution. Those who are found burning waste should be dealt strictly for violating the norms.
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