The issue of vehicular pollution in Punjab

By: Vivek Kumar

Punjab is a beautiful state with lush green farms and a great environment. But, the issue of air pollution has remained in the state for the longest time. According to the “State of India’s Environment 2021” report, Punjab reported as many as 41,090 deaths attributable to air pollution, which is 18.8% of the total fatalities, in 2019. Further, 1,148 million US dollars (1.49% state GDP) economic loss was ascribed to air pollution in the state.

If you ask any random person walking on the road as to what is causing this pollution in the state? They will have only one answer i.e stubble burning. But little do they know that even after that season is over, air pollution remains a constant. Sometimes even AQI of 300!

One of the major reasons for air pollution in the state is Vehicular emissions. Every day, there are lakhs of cars, trucks, scooters on the road in Punjab and they release toxic chemicals like carbon monoxide, nitrogen oxides, photochemical oxidants, and air toxins.

These together affect the environment and human health to the extent that you can’t even imagine. Besides the increase in the number of vehicles every year, the poor maintenance of vehicles is also a major reason for the high vehicular emissions. Some of the ways to reduce vehicular pollution at an individual level are carpooling, buying an electric vehicle instead of a petrol car, walk short distances instead of taking out your car or scooter.

I have always loved to capture blue beautiful skies but I can rarely find them these days. But, to maintain those beautiful skies is also a task that is on us. Please take the environment very very seriously and work towards it. Clean air is our right and a necessity!

Vivek Kumar

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