Fact is, the Nano is a spectacular achievement. But how did we end up with the Nano in an era of global warming?
Here's the story. In Delhi, pollution levels have increased in recent years, particularly the levels of particulate matter under 10 microns, which reach the lungs easily. We know that from reports and our health. Why? Delhi managed to reduce its air pollution levels after CNG was introduced for buses and autos. Who can forget the clean air campaign launched by the Centre for Science and Environment.
But we failed at the next level — private vehicles and diesel engines. No matter how strict the norms for private vehicles, when there are a lot of them, the aggregate pollution is inevitable. In the last 5 years, there has been a 43 per cent increase in vehicles on the roads. Of these, over 30 per cent are privately owned, which could run on petrol, CNG or diesel. The latter is very polluting.
For everyone who saves money by getting great mileage out of their diesel car, the rest of society is absorbing the cost through poor health.
But why make cars? Simply because of the indications — flyovers, multi-storied parking lots, glitzy cars for government. Any investor reads this as indicative of welcoming private transportation. Contrastingly, the Metro has a poor feeder system and few buses. There is an incentive to use private transport.
The Nano is born in this context. It is offering a good individual solution to the transport problem. But the problem still needs redressal through city-wide solutions and state responsibility. Without good public transportation, we'll never get clean air.
Sports by daylight
Arpit Chauhan asks, "If matches can be played in daylight, what is the need for playing under floodlights?" He points out that around 40-60 KW of power is needed for stadium lights. Apart from this, more people drive to events at night and there is much more electricity used for various kinds of infrastructure at night. So, perhaps sports fans should initiate a campaign for games by daylight.
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