Will Crackers ban change the air quality in Delhi ?
Just couldn't resist from expressing my feeling about this JUDGEMENT. First...
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  • This is the best body of work in infra-red photography that I have seen in India.
      Shri S. Paul
    Photographer, on the infra red exhibition Ladakh Huess
  • I am proud to know this couple- Shamim and Sasmita. This book reflects the labour of their love. We could reach the place because of the power of his lens.
      Janab Arif Mohammed Khan
    Former state minister, at the inauguration of the book
  • Words fail me; outstanding!
      Mr. Rajiv Lochan
    Director NAGMA, on "One Fine Tuesday"
  • At times Delhi looks beautiful but the kind of flavour Shamim has brought about in black and white is not only very beautiful but after this book we all will see these monuments from a fresh perspective.

    ( while unveiling of the book 'Forgotten Dilli - Portrait of an immortal city')

    Extraordinarily taken pictures. Akhtar is someone we are proud of.

    ( on 'Ladakh Hues " )
      Mrs. Sheila Dixit
    Ex-CM Delhi
  • When stones burst into songs

    Qutub Minar must count among the most sketched, painted and photographed monuments of the world. What the Eiffel Tower is to Parisians, the Big Ben to Londoners, the Brandenburg Gate to Berliners and the Statue of Liberty to New Yorkers, the Qutub Minar is to Dilliwallahs. It is older and more spectacular than all the other monuments.

    I have seen hundreds of photographs of Qutub Minar but none to match the cover of Forgotten Dilli, Portrait of an Immortal City by Sasmita S. Akhtar and Shamim Akhtar. Shamim is a Bihari Muslim, now in the IAS, posted in Delhi. Sasmita is an Oriya Brahmin, a sociologist, who is a product of Jawaharlal Nehru University. Between them, they produced a pictorial album on Lakshadweep and now one on the old monuments of Delhi.

    Sasmita has written the text; Shamim has taken the photographs. They have limited their work to the end of the Mughal dynasty in 1857. They have pictures of baolis (step wells), dargahs (Sufi shrines), forts, mosques, and mausoleums. What arrests the readers attention is the interplay of light and shade on trees and clouds to highlight every monument.

    It is a sheer joy to turn over the pages of the book again and again. It reminded me of an old film song, 'Geet gaaya paththaron ne ' 'The stones burst with songs'.
      Mr. Khuswant Singh
    The Telegraph, 6th March 2010
  • 'A stunning exhibition, highlighting the unique beauty of Ladakh...extremely impressed by the quality of his images.'

    (on the exhibition, Rode to Heaven in 2008)

    'I have great pleasure in commending this book to all those who love mountains. Packed with photographs, there are short descriptive notes which are useful.'

    (In the foreword of the book, Rode to heaven: Ladakh in 2009)

    ...I myself have not been able to go to Kailasa nor will I be able to go to in this life; but after reading this book I feel I have also done half parikarma.'

    (At the inauguration of the book, 'Kailasa: A journey within' , at the Shanti Stupa, on the 30th of Jan. 2011)
      Dr. Karan Singh
    At the inauguration of the book, 'Kailasa: A journey within', at the Shanti Stupa, on the 30th of Jan. 2011
October 10, 2017
Will Crackers ban change the air quality in Delhi ?

Just saw the news that Honorable ( has to say) Supreme Court of India has ordered for a complete ban on crackers this Deepawali in Delhi NCR.


Just couldn't resist from expressing my feeling about this JUDGEMENT. First, it is true that air pollution in Delhi has crossed all limits and crackers also contribute toward air pollution , which normally last for two days.


What shocked me more than this Holy judgment is the debate about why animal slaughter on Bakri eid is not banned? Though it is true that on Bakri eid animal slaughter results in excess blood in our almost non-existing sewer system thus enhancing water pollution, my reaction has nothing to do with my religious sentiments. I am merely amused at how every issue ends up getting a religious hue!


What appalls me is that in this ongoing hateful debate between Hindus and Muslims in the country the real issue is getting diluted, and the issue involved right now is the alarming air pollution in Delhi NCR.


I am not a scientist , but as an aware citizen , I know that there are several factors that is causing so much air pollution in Delhi. To start with , the industries in the neighboring cities like, Sahibabad, Ghaziabad, Merrut, Modi Nagar literally blows its pollutants to Delhi via the trade wind route.


Burning of fields after harvest in the same cities is another major reason. But, beyond doubt the main source of air pollution is vehicular pollution. Unlike popular belief , two wheelers pollute more than a smart eco friendly car. The number of vehicles in Delhi is much more than all other major cities of India put together.


So, the air pollution in Delhi is not only because of crackers , but also because of several other reasons.
















Now , lets try to understand , why there are so many people commuting on two wheels , at times even wading through the polluted air and heavy traffic in very first place. Public transport in Delhi can be safely said to be the worst and most expensive in India. If one has to commute to and fro from East Delhi to South Delhi, the two way cheapest cost of public transport would be at least twice of the cost of petrol burnt in a two-wheeler. So, blaming people for having so many two wheelers would be ethically wrong, unless the government provides good and economical public transport.


Now comes cars, it's again the same story. If one calls for an AC taxi , the fare would be lot more than it should be. Corruption in the Transport Department has been responsible since the auto rickshaw days.



Thanks to the Odd and Even Number Scheme of an IITian Chief Minister, the number of cars almost doubled. Many now have both- odd and even!


For the time being, lets have a look at the industries sending their air pollution to Delhi; the trade wind route has to be studied, and the respective State Government has to take measures to curb their emission and also Carbon Sink ( plantation of trees) is to be planned as per the air movement.


Burning of field after harvest is the cheapest solution for the already dying farmers in our nation, so the technology that is available to convert that left over into Bio mass should be taken up or to be provided to the farmers on a highly subsidized cost by the Government.


But , even if we are able to curb the industrial pollution, and take care of field burning and create enough Carbon Sink, it may not change the air quality of Delhi by 15 % as the vehicular pollution is responsible for 85 % air pollution of Delhi.


Solution , yes, where there is a will , there is a way. Firstly, Government should provide adequate economical public transport to the working class , so that they don't need to use two wheelers to go to work.


AC taxi fair should be regulated and if need be , subsidized to some extent so that , people don't have to use the car. But even these measures will not be enough. As I have lived myself for 25 years in Delhi, I do understand the display your wealth mentality of most Delhi-ites. They will continue to drive fuel guzzlers. So what to do?








Here is my understanding and suggestion:



Most of the Private Vehicles ( both cars and two wheelers ) are on almost 90 % finance in Delhi NCR. Most of car owners do not have legal parking space at least in Delhi.


By the power of Presidential Ordinance , financing of Private Vehicles should be totally banned in Delhi NCR. This would take off at least 85 to 90 % private vehicle off road.


Government of Delhi should make it mandatory for a new and existing car owner to provide proof of having legal parking space for registration. This would cut down new car registration by 90 %.


Problem is that the Automobiles Companies keep everybody in "good faith" and the financing companies are run by the same people those who supported Demonetization. Besides, if there re no new registration, who will grease the palm of Officers in the Transport Department of Delhi?


So, coming back to the Holy Judgment, to me it seems similar that cow protection is an excuse to kill Muslims in India. Those who are debating that animal slaughter should also be banned on Bakried, Please for god sake . go and talk to the stockiest, dealer and retailers of crackers and find out what they are going through.



At least to the tune of few laks shops those who have stocked fire crackers will suffer heavy financial loss, many may loose their entire saving of lifetime. Some might even commit suicide.


If this was to be decided, this should have been decide at least three months prior to Deepawali.


Looks like, The Legislature , Holy Judiciary and Executive are all hell bent upon snatching bread and butter from every poor Indian, irrespective of their religion, this is the REAL issue.


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