Finally some eyebrows have been raised on the increasing pollution levels in the city. Guwahati ranks high in the pollution charts of the country competing with metros like Delhi and Calcutta. Though the other cities leapt into action in order to reduce the air pollution causing serious danger to the denizens Guwahati is waking up a tad bit later. The Indian Oil Corporation (IOC), Assam Oil Division has taken an initiative to convert petrol-run autorickshaws into LPG system in a phased manner. This, if implemented would prove to be a great step towards improving the damaged caused by the increased level of pollution in Guwahati.
The decision by IOC was taken after increased level of carbon monoxide (CO), carbon dioxide and unburnt-hydrocarbon were observed in the city’s atmosphere. These pollutants are causing serious health hazards to the people. Guwahati had seen the introduction of Pollution Testing centres in city which has kept in check the vehicles spewing this dangerous smoke but the system needs to be more streamlined in order to get better results for there are huge anomalies in the procedures of such pollution checks. Many vehicles plying in Guwahati or in different parts of the state for that matter are quite old models unlike their modern Euro II versions which are easier on the environment. Therefore what Guwahati needs is a complete overhaul of its vehicular assets.
The Chief LPG manager, IOC, Assam Oil Division, Ashim Kalita announced that they are planning to convert around 3000 petrol run auto rickshaws into LPG during the current fiscal to control the level of pollution. This step comes in the wake of a drive taken up by IOC in all major cities across the country. However small a step it would go a long way as far as pollution is concerned as it is effecting the environment and particularly pose a lot of danger to children.
Pollution has a disastrous effect on children, a study showed that youngsters who live within 500 metres of major highways develop weaker lungs then those who live at least 1,500 meters away. It also says that traffic pollution could affect lungs of children. James Gauderman of the University of Southern California in Los Angeles followed nearly 3,700 children in the area from age 10, measuring the participants’ functioning of their lungs every year, according to the online edition of New Scientist. As part of the test, the children took a deep breath and exhaled with force into a machine that gauged the volume and speed of air leaving their lungs. By the time they reached age 18, those participants living within 500 metres of a motorway performed significantly worse on the lung function test than their more distant peers.
Therefore, it is important that more such constructive steps are undertaken which will assure our future generations of some pure and quality breathing space.