What's the buzz?
Thursday 15 February 2001
Ever since an increasing number of vehicles running on compressed natural gas (cng) started plying on Delhi roads, a strange whisper campaign has been blowing in the air -- cng causes cancer. A survey conducted by the Centre for Science and Environment (cse), New Delhi, found that of the 207 autorickshaw drivers surveyed, more than half of them had heard the rumour.
The rumour had spread through a cohesive and active network of autorickshaw drivers. None of the drivers could authenticate this hearsay with a newspaper report or any organisation. But, quite a few of them referred to a lawsuit filed by Apollo hospital, New Delhi, to stop the usage of cng . Apollo hospital authorities, however, denied filing any lawsuit.
Clearly, the campaign seems to be motivated to undermine the efforts of the Supreme Court to clean up Delhi's air. Experts feel that the Delhi government has made no attempts to inform the people about the need and the merit of moving to cng , and to educate target groups such as autorickshaw drivers regarding the benefits of using cng.