Without protection, Shimla traffic cops worst hit by unchecked, rising vehicular pollution
India ranks high in the list of premature deaths due to air pollution. Like other states, unchecked vehicular pollution is on the rise in Himachal too. Capital city Shimla is worst hit of all. Government has turned a blind eye towards the ecological and health hazards of it.
Himachal Pradesh Police is also ignoring traffic policemen who are most exposed to vehicular pollution everyday. Police department needs to open its eyes and see the plight of traffic cops on duty at places having high vehicular pollution in the state. DSP traffic police Amit Thakur can be seen cycling on Shimla roads but, surprisingly, he is also silent on high emission issue.
These cops need appropriate protection; at least, masks. If the cops don’t show interest in wearing masks, then it should be made mandatory. These cops spend their whole day amid vehicular pollution without any protection. With government’s lethargic attitude, pollution will increase with number of vehicles on roads.
The department should take a note of a recent survey conducted in Delhi. In this survey, lung capacity test was conducted on traffic cops. Over half of total tested cops failed to qualify lung capacity test. That’s because Delhi’s air contains an alarming level of toxic particulate matter (PM2.5), according to another study conducted recently.
According to a global study published in Journal Nature, Delhi will be number one by 2025 in the list of largest premature deaths due to air pollution. Another notable fact is that Delhi has been ranked the most polluted city in the world.
Shimla is doing no better. Highly educated and visionary IPS, IAS, HPS, and HAS officers have turned blind eye towards the grave issue. Their pure negligence is putting lives of these cops at risk. We are sure that traffic police department has provisions for protecting its men against exposure to vehicular emissions. Please follow the directions and stand up, at least, for your men.
For over a year, HW has been consistently trying to wake up Himachal Pradesh Government and State Pollution Control Board and address the issue of growing vehicular pollution – especially due to trucks, HRTC buses and private buses and burning of garbage in open. We also wrote to Shimla Traffic Police and the State Transport Minister GS Bali.
Mr. Bali had ensured appropriate action within a month of our complaint. Many months passed, but awaited action didn’t arrive, as expected. For all these old generation politicians, science & technology, environment, etc., are less important than politics. Either politicians are unaware of health hazards of higher air pollution or they simply don’t care about health of their people.
Then, we turned to our readers and public present on social media platforms. We tried to create awareness regarding the serious health and ecological hazards of rising vehicular emissions. Surprisingly, only a few people understood the issue and supported it. Despite knowing the fact that what unchecked vehicular pollution did to Rohtang-Pass and capital city Delhi, attitude of people and government didn’t change. It’s acceptable for parents to let their children inhale toxic air.
We are not sure what the government or State Pollution Control Board expect us to do; to start a hashtag #savetrafficcops or stage a protest or sit on hunger strike? Do the MLAs and Chief Minister not understand the written words of unrest and overwhelming pleas seeking their attention? Since the formation of Himachal Pradesh, BJP and Congress, both delivered rags in the name of public facilities, transportation infrastructure, education, health and employment.
These governments failed to build drains in the capital city Shimla in 21st century; the same Shimla where British, 100 years back, successfully built one of the world’s engineering marvel – Kalka-Shimla railway track with toy train.
Now, everyone knows the current condition of the roads and will of the government to maintain existing ones.
Theog-Hatkoti-Rohru raod has engulfed hundreds of crores during past decade and is still not completed.
Himachal Pradesh University has become a degraded hub of corruption that doesn’t even have basic facilities for students. The campus is buzzing with voices protesting against scams, rotting education standards, and anti-student policies.
Police department is encouraging goons in uniform and government hospitals are running with minimum facilities. Owing to degrading standard of education, the enrollment ratio in government schools is dropping sharply, and parents are forced to pay high fees to private and convent schools. No one wants his/her kids to go to a government school.
The government would say that we are short of funds, however, there is no shortage of finances for expenses made on luxuries politicians and government officers enjoy. MLAs spend lakhs of rupees on inaugural functions, but not on basic public facilities. Their fleet of SUVs never suffers due to financial crisis of the state. Only the common man does.