Delhi Indian capital, toiling under the tag of being the world’s most polluted city, is attempting to be innovative to help clean up its air.
A smartphone application that will enable citizens to inform about construction dust or the burning of leaves and garbage in public parks to authorities was unveiled on Friday.
The “Hawa Badlo,” or “Change the Air,” app will have two versions. One enables citizens to take pictures of likely pollutants. The other empowers authorities to examine and act on “legitimate complaints.”
Over the last few years, New Delhi has grappled with means to manage pollution, which is strikingly apparent throughout the colder winter months as the city’s air changes to a gray haze.
The latest example, the phone app, was launched by the Environmental Pollution (Prevention and Control) Authority, a monitoring group, which was set up following the rule of India’s Supreme Court in April.
Over the last decade or so, India, much like neighboring China, has witnessed pollution spiral as its economy has boomed and it has remained reliant on consuming coal to produce electricity.
The number of vehicles on the road has also skyrocketed, while hundreds of millions of poor people still utilizing wood, kerosene or whatever they can seize at the garbage dump to produce fires for cooking or keeping warm during winter nights.
Over the last two years, the government has proposed a raft of measures to check the air pollution. These involve stricter emission norms for cars and a tax on diesel-fueled trucks that enter the city.
The city has also attempted to limit the number of cars on the roads during the winter months when the air quality is at its worst.
The city authorities twice ordered cars with odd and even numbered license plates to ply on alternate days for a period of two weeks each.