Sunday, September 20, 2009
Nobody knew when it would be a reality but prayed for a life relieved of it. But law took its own course and achieved the impossible. The Kolkata roads are finally free of ' kata tel'-run auto rickshaws labelled the worst pollutant among all vehicles thanks to the Supreme Court-ruled phaseout of all 15-year old or older vehicles, and LPG having been made the only 'fuel' for auto rickshaws. The state govt. decided not to fight it with the legal system once again and it was the death nail for the venomous three-wheelers starting August.
The roads are a lot greener, with an increasing no. of green-coloured LPG autos taking the roads every day. And most importantly (the reason behind this post)the air is far more breathable and lighter. It's breathable enough for my kid daughter, and finally I can live without the guilt of bringing her up in toxic air on the roads because of alarming level of automobile pollution in the city, a situation made worst by the 'kata tel-run auto rickshaws ('kata tel' is a sphurious mix of petrol, kerosene and other elements causing poisonous fume).
The people are reportedly ready to take the pain of jostling in much fewer public vehicles simply because they can breathe much better. And as one of them I too welcome the outcome, though it has made my journey to work costlier on some days when due to shortage of buses that I can get into I have to change the route to reach office in time.