Yet another Diwali is around the corner and the city will yet again rejoice in its fervour..
This time around, can we as citizens make a conscious appeal to the government and authorities to save on the celebrations and focus on the more critical needs of the city we live in?
We posed this question to informed citizens of the city and here is a snapshot of the most important concerns that they spoke about:
Efficient Public Transport System
Madhav Patil, convener, ‘Angholichi Goli’ NGO believes that what needs immediate attention is creating an efficient and sustainable public transportation system in Pune. Transportation is one of the major glitches in the making of Pune truly smart city.
Several vehicles are added on our roads every day and we already have one vehicle per citizen and this is alarming There is a significant rise in the air pollution as a consequence of thee vehicles and no one seems concerned about this. Climate change is a serious issue and this kind of apathy adds to its dangers.
Primary focus on the authorities should be to build this transport system rather than other initiatives.
River rejuvenation according to Bhakti (member of a non-profit organisation) is what everyone is turning their blind eye to. It is only during festivals like Ganapati, Durga Puja that people suddenly start thinking of the harm we may be doing do to the water bodies.
Throughout the year, there is a large amount of garbage and effluents that reach the river body, polluting it and killing the aquatic animals. Encroachment and waste dumping needs to stop forthwith, in order to conserve the rivers.
The next step should then be the rejuvenation and beautification of our rivers.
Increased Air Pollution During Diwali
Col. (retd) Shashikant Dalvi, District Manager (Pune)- The Climate Reality Project, India, shares that air pollution in Pune during Diwali 2017 has done its damage.
The city’s pollution levels were 100 times above the existing levels on a normal day and 800 times above WHO’s (World Health Organisation) safety norms prescribed for Indian conditions, fine particulate matter PM 2.5, on the day of Diwali.
Before 8 pm, the levels in and around Laxmi Road were hovering around 400 to 600 micro grams per cubic metre and this was largely because of the vehicular traffic moving in that area. But after the Laxmi pooja at around 8.30 pm, as people started bursting firecrackers, the particulate matter levels of Laxmi Road and adjoining areas increased to over 40,000 micro grams per cubic metre.
This year despite Supreme Court’s judgement on fire crackers the result will be as bad as last year. Air pollution is mainly due to running of fossil fuel run vehicles in the city. Along with this tree census states around 36 lakh trees in Pune, against the population of around 38 lakh and increasing.
Minimum eight trees are required to supply annual quota of Oxygen. As it is diseases are on rise due to winter temperatures, burning of crackers during Diwali for few days increases air pollution manifold. These pollutants linger in the atmosphere for a long time.
Women And Child Safety
One of the major areas that we needs to consciously work towards throughout the year is the safety of women and children.
We need to understand that women do not need sympathy, but need to be treated with respect like any one else who also is working to make ends meet. Safety at the workplace is today a burning issue and should be adhered to.
Moreover, even children today are falling prey to uncivilised people lingering in the society. Giving them a secure and safe environment and respecting their choices and privacy is what we need to learn says Pratiksha Pandit, a Human Resource manager.
Undoubtedly, this list is just the tip of the iceberg and the city needs more attention on a lot of burning issues..
Reach her at firstname.lastname@example.org or tweet @KaurKaur18
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