December 13th, 2015
Image Source: huffingtonpost
Dear Arvind Kejriwal Ji,
I hope you are keeping well.
As you battle years of neglect by Delhi on ecological and environmental issues, I have a few suggestions and many questions. As a government and as a leader, you must lead by example. While we citizens are regulated, the actions of governments are largely whimsical and shirk responsibility. But You are a different leader, walking the talk, open to being questioned. So, here goes:
1. The biggest contributor to pollution is road dust (35%). There is not a road in Delhi which isn’t dusty. This is abject failure of administration. Can you
– Stop illegal constructions?
– Stop illegal encroachments?
– Stop dumping waste in public spaces?
– Make Delhi greener to absorb dust?
2. The other big contributor is domestic cooking(22%). Many poor households don’t use cooking gas. The Prime minister is on a mission and Delhi can dove tail into his dream. Can the two get together and work in sync?
3. The third biggest contributor is of course vehicle pollution. Even there, you attacked the citizens first. Can you
– Remove every encroachment on roads to reduce our time on the roads?
– Stop the 50000 trucks that pass through Delhi that spread poison?
– Ensure implementation of road rules to avoid traffic jams?
– More police on roads for stricter vigil?
4. Can you build footpaths and walking tracks so that we can walk. Many drive to even neighbourhoods because there are no safe walking tracks.
5. And of course, the last one. What are your plans to better public transport? Better school transportation?
My purpose is not to point flaws or be a critic. The dramatic measures that you take are leading to a public discourse but may not lead to an equally dramatic reduction in pollution. You are not attacking the principal causes of pollution. You are passing the buck. You are shirking your share of administrative responsibility. You went for the low hanging fruit, the middle class. You used us as punching bags.
I am happy to give up every car and walk to work. I am happy to use just public transportation on both odd and even days. But how about governments being accountable to the 70% pollution while you are attacking us for the 20% causes?
Many earlier governments used us, abused us, violated us. Are you any different?