Published: Friday 10 July 2015

The curse of diesel

Air pollution from vehicles is increasing at an alarming rate in the cities ('Engines of the devil' Down To Earth , Vol 8, No 1; May 31). Unfortunately, the vehicles manufactured in India do not meet the international emission standards.

The use of diesel, which is more harmful than petrol because diesel emissions are more carcinogenic, is also increasing. The government should ban the registration of diesel vehicles in all states. This is because even if it is banned in one state, the people will buy it from another. The government should permit only a limited production of diesel vehicles. If we do not strive to ban diesel, diseases like cancer will become more prevalent....

The fight against pollution

Recently, some Maruti taxis have been introduced which run on compressed natural gas ( cng) . The government should take the cue and introduce more vehicles that run on cng.

Car manufacturers should also increase production of those vehicles that run on this eco-friendly fuel. But car companies will invest in these type of vehicles only when there is an incentive. This is where the government should step in. The government should reduce the price of eco-friendly fuels and also make it easily available to the common person. The aim should be that by the 22nd century, all cars should run on eco-friendly fuel.

There are many ways to combat pollution. One way to counter the increasing dieselisation of the vehicles is to reduce the price of petrol. The use of diesel should be confined to cargo transport only. The authorities should be strict while issuing "pollution under control" certificates. There is a need for more research to produce micro-filters which can further filter the harmful particulate matter in diesel emissions....

Shining beacon

I have not seen Delhi. Nor do I wish to after reading about the levels of pollution in the city. The largest contributor to pollution in the capital is the ever-increasing number of vehicles. One way to reduce traffic and pollution is to relocate the government departments.

Delhi is a landlocked city. There is no sea breeze to carry away the polluted air. When compared to other cities like Chennai, Mumbai, Calcutta and Kochi, air pollution in Delhi could easily be the worst. The diesel car manufacturers have committed a big blunder by dragging you to court. But the people cannot be fooled easily. They will stand by you and your endeavours to make Delhi a clean city....

Blazing away

The forests of Garhwal and Kumaon were on fire between April 15 and May 8. The smoke had enveloped the whole region. It is difficult to imagine the environmental damage it has caused, not to mention the damage to property worth crores of rupees and the deaths of animals. As a resident of the area, it was difficult for me to breathe.

And despite this large-scale devastation, the forest department has maintained a deafening silence. Who is responsible for this?

Forests in India are a "no one's land". Who is the guardian of the forests? If one cuts a tree in one's own garden, there is a law to punish the offender. But when thousands of trees burn in the forests, there is no law to punish the guilty....

A clarification

In the article 'In search of the forgotten rice varieties' ( Down To Earth , Vol 8, No 1; May 31) the name of the seed exchange centre is vrihi. The centre was established in 1998 and not this year as stated....

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