Sowing seeds for better tomorrow
As the world celebrates World Environment Day, Delhi, including Okhla, bears the brunt of global warming and pollution, writes Sumaila Zaman.
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Being the ninth most populated metropolis in the world, Okhla has become a hub of overcrowded ghettos with the decline of the flora in the region.
The need for greenery has become a necessity with the increase in air pollution. Though the Air Quality Index of Okhla is moderate (58) children and adults with respiratory diseases should avoid prolonged outdoor exertion.
Pollution has become a pressing problem in the Okhla: Fewer trees in the region result in less filtration of the pollutants like sulphur and nitrogen from the air. This phenomenon results in increased respiratory problems. Fewer trees absorb less heat and produce less oxygen.
A resident of Zakir Nagar for thirty years said: “The development has destroyed the natural ecosystem of the area.”
Toxic airborne and microparticles can only be absorbed by trees and plants on a large scale. It is the green ecosystem that cleans the environment naturally without any expense absorbing harmful gases like carbon dioxide.
Due to the number of factories, the Okhla industrial area has the most polluted air in the region. The air quality index (AQI) is 152 with particulate matter PM2.5.
Not only do the plants and trees curb the air pollution, but it also cancels the noise pollution and adds value to the posh areas.
As peer pressure and mental health is considered, the greenery helps in mood uplift.
A student of Jamia Millia Islamia said: “I was born in Okhla. It’s just a matter of time how the locality changed. My cousins who came here for higher studies contracted asthma just in a month. Planting trees can only restore the beauty of Okhla.”
(The author is studying journalism at Asian College of Journalism)