Dehradun has always been in news for its salubrious weather and towering trees. The town has always been a delightful place to stay at. It has been the most visited summer destination every year because of its crisp and comforting environment. The town which was once known as the city of the grey hair and green hedges is rapidly turning into a gas chamber. Summers were always tolerable in the town, but scorching heat and high amounts of toxicity in the air have disrupted the ecosystem of the town. Dehradun is now one amongst the top 5 polluted cities of India, below are listed some of the reasons as to why Dehradun is getting intoxicated day by day.
1. Increasing Automobile on the Road
As it is very clear to the naked eye that the traffic jams and road blocks are getting very frequent on the streets of Doon. The increase in vehicular emissions are one of the major reasons of pollution in Dehradun. Some studies have shown that the number of vehicles registered in Uttarakhand in the year 2000 was 42,000 which has increased to 24 lakh in 2017. This has not only led to degrading quality of air but the number of road accidents have had a frequent increase. There are 10 locations in the town like the Clock Tower, Saharanpur Road, ISBT, Dilaram Chawk, Rispana Bridge, Karanpur-DAV, Raipur, Sahastradhara, Balliwala Chawk and Doon Hospital are extremely polluted. The rise of respiratory ailments because of air pollution has increased over the last decade.
2. Low Forest Cover
Forest Fires, Shedding off Trees and over grazing have led to the disruption in the forest cover of the city. In the last two year the state of Uttarakhand could not report even 1% of increase in the forest cover as told by the Forest Survey of India (FSI). Development activities in the city has led to depletion of the moderate forest areas in the town. One of the pet project of Prime Minister Narendra Modi, All Weather Road, for connecting the four shrines-Badrinath, Kedarnath, Gangotri and Yamunotri has led to the chopping of 50,000 trees. Although the dense forest cover has increased but the moderate forests have an essential role to play in the balancing of the ecosystem of the town locally.
3. Burning Waste
The cases of burning waste in open in Dehradun have seen a frequent increase in number. Despite being aware of the fact that NGT has put a ban on burning waste in the open fields and at trenching grounds, the citizens of the valley are still conducting this heinous act. Waste when burnt produces dark clouds of smoke which carry dangerous gases like carbon monoxide, dioxins and furans, PAH’s and so many intoxicating substances which cause cancer, respiratory disorders, affects DNA and causes unimaginable ailments. Its very important for both the Government and the people to take effective measures to stop burning waste as plastic, rubber, polythene all of these are slow poisons.
4. Unplanned Migration & Construction
Migration in Dehradun has led to unplanned construction, which is hampering the natural forest cover in order to make these grounds cemented. People from all over the country are migrating to the city, which is leading to illegal construction. This is also leading to an increase in the rate of landslides in the region. Unplanned construction and migration will lead to water crises in the town. The ideas of road expansion in the town, may cause serious detrimental impacts on various factors like water availability and disaster vulnerability.
5. Pollution Hampering Vegetation Growth & Imbalance in the Ecosystem of the city
The increasing pollution in the city has led to serious depletion in not only the quality of air but it is also causing disruption in the vegetation of bougainvillaea, lantana, litchi and mango. This in turn is causing a serious imbalance in the ecosystem of the town.
Effective measures need to be taken to the earliest in order to save the city from falling prey to the metro culture. Dehradun has its peaceful and delighting aura only due to the presence of the lush green environs of the town, which is diminishing with an exceeding pace.