Delhi has been grappling with its worst-ever pollution crisis. Smog might have left the city but the pollution thrives under the eyes.
Delhi's air subsumes the highest level of particulate matter (small solid or liquid particles) known as PM2.5 which instigates diseases resulting in the premature death of nearly 2.5 million Delhiites every year.
The Yamuna, on the other hand, has become a sewage drain for the capital. It has virtually no aquatic life thanks to over 20 drains pouring untreated sewage and other waste in the river.
Most of the water gets sucked out for power generation, irrigation, and drinking even before it enters the city but the real plight starts after the arrival.
Downstream from Wazirabad, the 22km river has no environmental flow. The only time when the river gets clean water is during the monsoon. Industrial waste from large units also finds their way in the river(22 in Haryana, 42 in Delhi and 17 in Uttar Pradesh). In the absence of e-flow, any effort to rejuvenate the river remains to be a mere mirage.
Secondly, single-use plastic is one of the biggest environmental challenges for the entire planet. As our Prime Minister in his UN Speech said that "I believe the time has come for even the world to say goodbye to single-use plastic”. This Plastic not only harms the human being but also harm the aquatic life as well.
We have to accept this fact that Delhi is one of the polluted cities in the world. We want the upcoming Delhi election should be about the environment and solutions to reduce pollution.
Delhi government, Central government, and the responsible authority should sit together on the same table and prepare an Action Plan to reduce air pollution in the city.
The administration should Implement the EPCA guidelines of the Supreme court.
Every political party should put the Environmental issues on the top of their manifesto. Our only demand for administrative power is to enact on the Environmental issues.
(Rishita Sharma is a 17-year-old climate change warrior, currently pursuing law from Lloyd Law College, Greater Noida and has been actively involved in various environmental campaigns.)