Wearing a mask may be a new experience for someone but it is a common ordeal for North Indians hailing either from Delhi or Patna. Yes, that’s right we didn’t wear masks to protect ourselves from flu or virus. We wear it to protect us from dirty air.
We can clearly see a thick layer of dirt and soot on the mask coming from outside. People with asthma or bronchitis are the worst sufferer. More than one lakh infants died in 2019 in India because their premature lungs couldn’t adapt to the polluted air.
A lady who often travels from Delhi to Patna said that she has suffocation from Patna’s Air but she feels her eyes are burning and skin irritation in Delhi. Now, she is afraid that she might suffer from skin cancer at this rate. It’s not a story of one lady only. Eventually, all of us are suffering somewhere. We wish to see more of the clear sky than a dark and dirty one.
The average level of PM 2.5 in Bihar varies from 120-173 micrograms per cubic meter which is more than twelve times the recommended level by WHO(10 micrograms per cubic meter). Vehicular emissions, smoke from the brick furnaces, stubble burning, construction and demolition activities, open bonfires in winter are some of the main reasons for deteriorating air quality.
The AQI level of Patna on someday is more than Delhi’s. It may vary from 450 to 500 during the festive season coupled with winter. Haze and smog during winter reduce visibility causing road accidents. Pollution is impacting the cases of COVID-19.
The increasing toxicity in the air has raised an alarm among ordinary people who are directly or indirectly getting affected by air pollution. Although the greenhouse gas emission was reduced a little bit because of the lockdown we can’t depend on the pandemic forever to procure us clean air. We need to take action and find a solution.
With the general public becoming more aware of their environment and the air they are breathing, they are contributing their bit but more than that we need our leaders and policymakers to implement laws effectively to reduce air pollution.
Tired of listening to the people’s grief we, the concerned youth of Bihar, started an email campaign to awaken our newly elected but old government for urgent action and treat the air pollution as an emergency situation. We sent the email to the concerned authorities with the solutions and actions to be taken.
Here’s some step we ask our Chief Minister for clean air:
1.Policy to reduce vehicular pressure in the city/weekends traffic off by allowing only emergency and public vehicles those days. (As happened during the Lockdown)
2. Ban burning plastic and garbage in the open and creating a system to ensure that is implemented strictly.
3. Construction sites should be covered completely and checked regularly
4. Loading methods should be applied towards the precipitation/ sedimentation of the particulate matter.