The National Green Tribunal (NGT)
has passed several orders in the recent past and each need to be criticised for
its shortsightedness. It passed an order banning cutting of trees in Delhi.
That was ludicrous to say the least. Then how the hell are we supposed to make
our highways and roads with trees blocking your path? Now it says ban diesel
vehicles. It is easier said than done. Diesel vehicles in Delhi follow BS IV
norms set by the government. They are needed to transport goods and man.
I personally feel that the
problem does not lie in vehicles but in a lot of other things. The team at NGT
needs to get off their high chairs and walk around the city to actually
determine what needs to be banned and what does not.
First and foremost, there is
no need to ban any vehicle that conforms to the government’s pollution norms
and clears all fitness tests as prescribed by the government, no matter how old
the vehicle is. Thus a car which is 20 years old and is in pristine condition should
be allowed to ply on the roads. But a taxi which has been totally destroyed by
insensitive drivers needs to be crushed and recycled. We really do not have any
recycling plant worth its name in India. So let’s begin by setting up one such
Now let’s assume the guys at
the NGT decide to walk every inch of Delhi and its surroundings and they get to
see the real (National Capital region) NCR. If they look around, they will see
there are millions and zillions of illegal constructions hampering our traffic
leading to traffic jams and pollution. To begin with, let’s knock down all
illegal religious places and ashrams run by notorious babas.
Then let them see the millions
of vehicle repair shops that are operating across the NCR with no license and
no place to dispose of chemicals and other products. Let them look at all the
vehicles parked illegally for repair in streets and by lanes meant for traffic.
They are adding to pollution and traffic jams.
Now let these guys at NGT walk
around the NCR and see for themselves how illegal nurseries for plants and
trees have mushroomed all across the place. They grab land and also obstruct traffic.
Why not get rid of them? Then let them walk around and see for themselves how
the sand mafia is progressing in the nation. Even kilometre or so you will get
to see sand, gravel, stones etc dumped for sale on the edge of roads. This is
leading to pollution, blocking of rain water sewers and other hassles.
Let the NGT guys then look at
the potholes in every section of roads in NCR. Let them see how lane driving is
impossible in this country because there are no macadamised lanes. Roads are so
badly built and so poorly maintained.
During religious festivals,
let the NGT guys walk with people and see how much damage they are causing by
immersing their deities and other things into rivers and seas. Curb all this
and then perhaps pollution will be curbed.
Take the NGT people and see
how stray animals whether they are dogs or monkeys are playing havoc with our
lives. Pack them off or exterminate them. Give priority to human beings and not
monkeys and stay dogs. Let them walk around our streets and see how many stray
cows are wandering around. Catch them and put them back in their cow sheds,
rather than allowing them to eat garbage and obstructing traffic.
Now coming to controlling cars,
buses and the traffic, simply by adopting an odd-even norm does not help check vehicular
pollution. There is no denying the fact that vehicles are causing congestion in
the cities. Then the solution does not lie in banning them, rather it is time
to build a real India. We need a long term plan to build every part of India,
make it modern so that people get job opportunities and access to good
education and medical care.
The guys at NGT need to open
their eyes to good sense. By throwing your grandmother out of the boat or
throwing your baby with the bathwater are not solutions to checking pollution.
For long India has been experimenting with dumb policies and even dumber directives.
While the world is going from developed to super developed, we are going from
under developed to terribly developed. It is time for the NGT to wake up to
realities rather than passing silly order from their glass offices.