Hyderabad: Loving the cleaner air that you are now able to breathe in the city? Wish to keep feeling better with less dust and fumes on the roads, streets and at home? Well, how about cutting working hours of shops and establishments by evening? And while at it, how about shutting down malls early?
These are among the measures that might be required if Hyderabad is to have a semblance of clean air – nowhere near as clean as it is during the lockdown but cleaner than in the past – as and when the lockdown is lifted.
“People are now adapting to restricted business timings,” says Dr Dasari Prasad, an environmental scientist, who is also the Telangana State Pollution Control Board’s ambient air quality specialist.
Making it clear that these are his personal opinions, Dr Prasad said he did discuss some of these ideas with some officials recently.
“My recommendation would be to close commercial activities by 5 pm and malls by 6 pm. However, restaurants could be left open as per their normal working hours in order to cater to the eating habits of people,” he told Deccan Chronicle.
On what could be achieved if such recommendations are implemented, he said “For one, theses will provide the environment in the city 8-12 hours of recovery time. This means the air, being dynamic, will have enough time to disperse pollutants, whether from automobiles or other sources. Two, this will mean lot of daylight saving, energy savings for commercial establishments. And equally importantly, it will reduce vehicle movements by evenings and result in cuts in emissions.”
“These thoughts need to be conceptualised, studied in detail and clear proposals need to be made. Eventually, it will be for the Air Quality Monitoring Committee that comprises six senior IAS officers and the government to take a call,” he said....