In our bid to understand why Delhi is tagged as World’s most Polluted city, we did a feature analysis on Delhi’s efforts to combat Air pollution crisis. In this bid, we explored the role of CNG and specially Inderprasth Gas Ltd in this combat, writes Faiz Askari, Founder Editor of SMEStreet.
It’s a known fact that societies differentiate themselves by the virtue of their sensitivity. From time immemorial, the evolution of mankind through various societies can authenticate the above statement. We as humans started living in societies, millions of years ago and now we have reached to a society where we have proper governance model which has strong elements of safety, security, health, hygiene etc.
Today, we care a lot about our environment. Every year 5th June we observe World Environment Day and on this day we prefer to highlight achievements of our societies in this stream and also take a pledge to do something substantial when we discuss any problem related to the environment.
Air Pollution is a well-known problem or rather I should call it the crisis and it is also an ironical fact for Indians that New Delhi has escalated as the world most polluted city. This is a sad fact for Indians but for the people of Delhi, this is a serious issue.
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The government of India and State Government of Delhi have understoicient?od this problem close to around 30 years ago and came up with a remedy to deal with this problem more than 20 years ago. In 1996-97 Government authorities understood the issues of air pollution and chosen CNG as a way forward. Selecting the CNG way was a major component of an overall solution for environmental protection. As a policy framework, Government level policymakers made it clear to introduce CNG as an alternative fuel for commercial and private vehicles to combat the air pollution issue.
Is IGL’s Effort in Combating Air Pollution Crisis is Sufficient?
In 1998, Inderprastha Gas Limited (IGL) came into existence. This company was formed to ensure distribution and CNG within Delhi to establish a network of CNG distribution network.
Now, the big questions ahead of government authorities is very simple and blunt – Even after 20 years of operations, why this CNG approach failed to control the problem of air pollution? Why has Delhi become the world top polluted city? Does this mean that our approach to combat the problem of air pollution is not effective? Whatever, questions might come to mind the list of such questions could be long, but one very simple and blunt question would remain as to why there is only one company which enjoys a monopoly status in this domain.
Secondly, why monopoly situation is created in a market which directly deals with a natural resource like fuel Gas? Also, this must be noted and carefully understood that CNG as an alternative fuel is introduced into the system to ensure public health safety. The decision was taken around 20 years ago to safeguard the health of common citizens of New Delhi.
Yes, number of vehicles in Delhi has drastically increased, the population has gone up massively but considering such consumption growth there has to be a number of CNG stations then.
As a public perception, the majority of vehicle owners find CNG maintenance a tough job in their day to day run for life. That’s why these majorities of people prefer to buy, use vehicles which are run on Petrol or diesel which is easy to maintain and refill. But with such preference, they tend to forget that their contribution to the environment can never be justified.
In order to understand the coverage of IGL’s distribution network within Delhi, we came to know that there are 446 Gas stations and 75.61 Lakh kg/day CNG is getting sold every day only through IGL.
Total number of CNG run vehicles in Delhi, Noida, Greater Noida and Ghaziabad have crossed 10,50,000 mark. In addition to above number, there are commercial and industrial customers which are also consumers of CNG.
Considering such huge numbers of vehicles and number of gas stations the reason of those long queues and long waiting period on every CNG filling station can easily be understood. Moreover, the distribution framework of IGL also requires the participation of various outside
This feature article is just an effort to bring focus and attention of policymakers towards the status of environmental safety. There are some questions appeared in mind just considering the overall situation and presuming the future. The World Environment Day is not far from now, it is around a fortnight away. Can our policymakers consider to bring any significant change in their approach to resolve the issue of air pollution control? We as a society are answerable to our next generations. The policymakers of today carry this important responsibility to pass on the legacy of a clean environment to our coming generations.
The quest for ensuring environmental protection is very crucial, it is not crucial for our future generations but it’s crucial for our present. But, while we recognize that the problem is a major threat to public health and its solution is somewhat related to the usage of a natural resource, it is also a matter of introspect that we must create a strong system which can have strong control of the Government.