Not with the slightest intention to mar the happiness of the new year, but this post isn’t going meet the upbeat tempo that most people are in with the advent of the new year. To most, a new year is a new beginning. New beginnings are good, in fact, they’re great. They bring with themselves, new hopes, new aspirations, new goals and new determination. New year instills in people the feeling that the world has reset. That’s why, probably, for the first month (or only first week perhaps?) everyone dashes to the gym, determined to shed the extra kgs that have piled up, over the last year (and also the backlog before that).
My intention here, is in no way to wash down the genial mood that everyone presently is in. But, I happen to have read something today, at which I had to react. Had I read this a week later, I would’ve ranted a week later and then this guilt of being a grinch at the onset of new year wouldn’t have felt so magnified.
I’ve worked in two cities, Bangalore (where I’d worked for two years) and Delhi NCR (where I work/stay presently). Unless you had been living under a rock, would you’ve missed all the pandemonium around the alarming pollution level in Delhi. Delhi’s been given a new nickname, “Time bomb”, waiting to explode. The pollution level in the region has reached such catastrophic levels that new borns are suffering from asthma, the reasons for which the doctors say are the excessive amount of SPM (suspended particulate matter) in the city air. The government is trying to cope with the situation by taking some draconian measures like introducing the odd-even number system (which I fully support, by the way. After all it’s the collective responsibility of the citizen, choosing to be against this isn’t optional). This seemed to have started off well, the news said so (Although it’s difficult to believe what’s aired in NEWS these days. It’s TRP that matters them more than the relevance of their aired content). I was just starting to have faith-in-humanity-restored-ish moment, when I stumbled across an article which reset the “Oh shit” feeling in me.
Bangalore, that article said, has just around 10 more years remaining before it runs out of its water supply. Please take a moment to let that statement sink in. An ENTIRE CITY, in fact a METROPOLITAN CITY, is about to RUN OUT OF WATER, in around a decade! A DECADE, that’s it. How could we not see this coming all this while! I mean, come on, someone who’s been working in the water works department or the municipal corporation, MUST HAVE seen this coming. Are those departments being run by bands of nincompoops? Why had they deferred this news till now? What possibly were they thinking, that SOMEHOW the water beds with replenish automagically and become perennial for eternity? Unless a major landscape correction happens, sadly no auto replenishing is scheduled to happen.
So my reason for writing this entire post is for a simple query: THE HELL ARE THESE CRUCIAL PUBLIC DEPARTMENTS doing! Why has the Delhi Pollution Board or the Bangalore Water Department board been mum till the very end, about things that are so crucial for the citizens! If we have a responsibility towards our city then these bodies too have responsibility towards us. It has to be a “bilateral” coordination between the two of us so that we can keep out ecosystem healthy without the requirement of draconian measures like or odd even number or (God forbid) mass city exodus. How many other bombs should we be expecting in the near future and what level of inconvenience are we suppose to undergo due to the negligence of these departments? I’m all for taking the preventive measures beforehand rather than realizing that it’s probably too late to do anything at all. But for that I need to be informed about the impending disaster. I’m sure the gentry will agree with me on this one.