Lok Sabha

November 22, 2019

Pratima Mondal speaks during a discussion on air pollution

Pratima Mondal speaks during a discussion on air pollution


Sir, before I start my speech, I want to put on record that whatever the Hon’ble Member from West Bengal stated, I completely disagree with that. What he said is completely a lie, Sir.

Thank you Sir, for giving me the chance to speak on air pollution and climate change. Sir, we have had a lot of discussion on this subject for the past few days but what we actually need is not just discussions or committee or reports. One hundred and thirty three crore people of our country need immediate action.

Air pollution has been recognised as the world’s single largest health risk and average PM2.5 in our air is equal to seven cigarettes. This means that we have come to a point that instead of feeder bottles, infants are made to smoke a pack of cigarettes through the natural breathing process. There are an equal number of non-smoker lung cancer patients as smoker patients.

E-vaping has been banned but our environment itself has become a vaping chamber. Numerous industries, transport, random burning of waste, road making process are contributors to the natural vaping system. Sir, having said this, I would like to contribute by requesting the government to spread among the mass that it is our responsibility to make provisions; equal participation has to come from their end as well. People of our country are sensible enough to understand that we don’t need the ‘Kiki Challenge’ or the ’10 Year Challenge’ or the ‘Ice Bucket Challenge’ to go viral. Take up the challenge of cleaning our environment.

I request eminent personalities on social media to initiate this ‘Swacch Hawa Challenge’ even if for the sake of likes and comments. A small contribution will definitely be made. I request the Hon’ble Prime Minister and all our Members to take this initiative. If every individual conserves energy, uses public transport or opts for carpools, uses energy-efficient products, a huge difference can be made.

In order to deal with this monstrous issue rigid and stern steps are inevitable. The government has to impose a cap on the use of coal and instead of digging new coal grounds, existing should be capped and renewable energy sources must be worked upon. India being the initiator of the International Solar Alliance must take the help of the Surya Devta to deal with wild waste.

Fuel-burning has to be stopped or else an incident like the ‘Great Smog of London’ is inevitable in India.

Coming to the problem of stubble burning, the government should take strong steps and initiate stubble collecting programme, providing small incentives to attract farmers. This can easily be reused by several methods like making paper, packing material, biomass palette and even biomass power plants can be set up. It is the gift of nature that we have so many reasonable properties. The solution lies in the problem, if solved like a tricky question in a competitive exam.

We just need smart and strict action. We must also impose a strict ban on the production and use of firecrackers. People involved in this industry can work in the stubble reusable units. This will directly protect and enable children and adults involved in this section. After all it is a festival of lights and not sound.

I would like to end by saying that mass participation with extra impetus from the government’s end is required to tackle the problem of air pollution.

Thank you Sir, for giving me the chance to speak on this issue.