But it is just as important to take back urban space

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But, it is just as important to take back urban space for use by people, not their machines. This would mean a great reimagining and rethinking of urban space with expanded walking, non- motorised cycling, waterways, and footpaths. Many cities in Southeast Asia, Europe and the Americas have shown how this can be done, and several Indian mayors and bureaucrats are already familiar with these models. There are also opportunities to reduce polluting activities in other sectors such as power generation and industrial production. This would mean reducing emissions intensity, but also avoiding certain activities or substituting them with others. Such approaches also offer co-benefits such as improved health, reduced carbon emissions and new forms of collaboration across social class. Policymakers now rely almost entirely on technology, technologists and technocratic views by economists for policymaking, thus offering a limited view of the problem and its solutions. They also need to overcome the corruptive and overwhelming influence of motor vehicle manufacturers, power producers, developers, and other large stakeholders on decisions taken . While small changes in a few cities and some protests have been seen, other transformative movements are needed by voters in partnership with social institutions to take back urban space. There are many reasons why there could be political support for policies to promote more democratically driven land use and transport. Mainly, this is because alliances can potentially be made across many social classes. Unlike water pollution, where the better off can buy or use filtered water, the rich cannot pay their way out of air pollution. While they may not be as exposed to the worst levels suffered by the very poor living in informal settlements on roadsides, filters and hermetically sealed living spaces offer only temporary reductions and the fantasy of clean air. In fact, ozone, a dangerous air pollutant, can eat into filters, just as badly as it can destroy the lungs of even healthy youth. It is not ethically appropriate to delay the resolution of deadly air pollution in cities for an entire generation that would suffer greatly in the interim. 33. Delhi was recently covered with a blanket of smog. Such levels of air pollution were caused by the lack of responsibility of the residents of the region. Do you agree? Give reasons to support your answer. Ans. Delhi has proved time and again — either by damaging the Yamuna floodplain to host a World Culture Festival, or bursting crackers in Diwali even after a court ban on its sale — entertainment comes first.
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42 | Page 9004418746 [email protected] Significant sections of recent reportage on Delhi’s air pollution have trained their guns on paddy stalk burning in Punjab and Haryana, positioning it as a key contributor to the crisis.
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