Trauma,caused by extreme shock

Is the Governor of Delhi in a state of shock?

Published: Monday 15 February 1999

The Lt Governor of Delhi needs, for his own sake, to be immediately airlifted from the polluted environs of the capital. Any concerned citizen who has being paying attention to his statements in the previous six months will realise immediately that he suffers from an extreme case of trauma caused by shock. In June 1998, Vijai Kapoor told his wheezing citizenry that there was no such thing as air pollution in Delhi. Then, in January 1999, he announced to them that there is no crime in the city. What is this, if not the denial stages of a trauma case?

Citizens, understandably, took umbrage to his first statement and went to court. But the court was not ready to entertain the plea, saying individuals have a right to personal opinion.

Which is all very well. One might have been able to ignore his statements as the rantings of an aged bureaucrat, and his very own personal but nevertheless eccentric opinion, but for his responsible position. When the Lt Governor of Delhi says there is no pollution in Delhi, it provides just the excuse for an already lackadaisical administration to drop their already-measly attempts to do something about the problem.

Many affidavits have been filed by the Delhi Government in the Supreme Court, admitting that air pollution is a serious problem. And guess who's on charge of the Special Task Force set up by the Delhi government in March 15, 1997 to oversee the implementation of air pollution control measures in Delhi? None other than our traumatised Lt Governor. The question now is - can a man, who believes that air pollution is not a problem in Delhi, be put in the responsible position of having to control it?

The Lt Governor was recently joined by Babulal Marandi, minister of state for the environment. Marandi told parliament that air pollution was not a problem, and there was no conclusive data to confirm the figures put forward by the Centre for Science and Environment (52,000 air pollution related deaths in the country annually). Well, Minister Marandi, you're the one with the men and our money - give us the real figures. Don't just sit there in Parliament denying things.

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