Friday, May 14, 2010

A mask could help the athletes during Commonwealth Games

The Commonwealth Games in Delhi in October is declared the Green Games, but participants had better bring a mask as a precautionary measure.
The organisers are doing everything within their means to clean up the air in time for the Games, but it could prove an uphill task.
It is no secret that the air in Delhi is choked with tiny, toxic particles that travel to the deepest parts of the lungs.
I have got a cold and cough I am still trying to get rid off and it has been four weeks.
Recently data available from the All India Institute of Medical Sciences (AIIMS) and it was not encouraging.
An assessable made by the Centre for Science and Envioroment said that the air could affect the performance of athletes.
However, a pollution monitoring system developed by Indian scientists has come for praise from the United Nations as an important step to ensure clean air during the Commonwealth Games.
The World Meteorological Organisation (WMO), a specialised agency of UN, said the System of Air Pollution Forecasting and Research (SAFAR) will serve as example within India, South Asia and globally.
The Delhi government has also been pinning its hopes for clean air during the Games on people switching over to mass transport systems.
However, with 1,100 vehicles being added to Delhi streets every day, despite a flourishing Metro system and new low-floor buses, experts say that unless private vehicles are curbed, nothing can be done to salvage the capital's air quality.
Delhi may even have to take drastic measures like forcefully removing vehicles from the roads, like Beijing did even though it had started work on improving its air quality 10 years before it hosted the Olympics Games in 2008.
The Indian Institute of Tropical Meteorology has lauched several initiatives, but while the first phase has been successful, a major policy on transport looks imminent.
Among the measures which have been taken by the authorities in their effort to make the air cleaner include:
*Relocation of industrial units
*Introduction of Euro-IV standard fuel
*Phasing out of commercial vehicles older than 15 years
*Closure of coal-based plant in city
*Extending reach of Metro rail
* Promotion of battery-operated vehicles
* All buses, three-wheelers and a great part of taxis run on CNG
*Transit freight traffic is restricted
*Controls on power plants are tighter
*Opening burning is banned

The Delhi government is doing its best to improve the quality of air, but at the end of the day, the awareness of the people of Delhi and their cooperation, will play a key role in achieving their goals of making Delhi air cleaner!

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