Air pollution in Delhi has reached crisis levels. Air quality monitors have repeatedly shown hazardous levels of pollutants in the air, however there is no real health advisories or information disseminated to the people who live and breathe Delhi’s air everyday. The reason for air pollution are many and include, increase in private cars, and particularly diesel cars in the city; unmonitored polluting industries in and around Delhi; lack of a waste management system; seasonal crop burning in rural areas surrounding the city; and unregulated construction sites.
In light of this growing crisis in Delhi, a group of engaged citizens, business and civil society organizations have come together under the banner of Help Delhi Breathe. The group’s key objective is to raise awareness of the harmful impact of Delhi’s air and push for solutions that will improve Delhi’s air.
Delhi’s government has put in place some positive measures, however, there are many more that need to be implemented in order for Delhi’s air to be healthy again. The Help Delhi Breathe coalition will promote the adoption of the following solutions:
• Ensure information and advisory on air pollution is standardized and disseminated to all neighborhood in Delhi.
• Improve public transportation system, by improving last mile connectivity for Delhi metro, more green buses, using electric motorbikes as taxis, expanding bicycle and foot paths and creating no-car zones in the city.
• Find solutions for local sources of pollutants like using trash burning to generate biofuel; and work with RWAs to provide clean fuel alternatives to wood burning for cooking and warmth in the winter.
• Phase out Diesel operated vehicles and machinery by 2020 – and immediately stop new registrations of Diesel operated private cars until Euro VI is made available.
• Legal framework on emission standards for power plants, industries and all vehicles manufactured or imported to India are developed, implemented and enforced.
• Develop a regional approach to air pollution and find solutions to crop burning, polluting industries in Delhi NCR and serious push towards clean and renewable sources of power for the entire Indo-Gangetic Plain.
The main objectives of the Clean Air Fair are to raise awareness and to push the narrative of solutions that can be adopted at the individual and societal levels to clean Delhi’s air.
The concept is to create a fair where solutions based vendors (both private sector and organizations working on sustainability) can set up stalls to demonstrate what people can do to help Delhi’s air and lead a more sustainable lifestyle. At the societal level, the fair will promote viable and sustainable solutions around renewable energy, waste management, electronic mobility and a host of short-term solutions to protect your family from toxic air. Along with the vendors, the first day of the fair will also have performances by musicians and expert speakers on air pollution and sustainable living.