Existing Environmental Initiatives
New Delhi has been assessed as one of the least sustainable places on earth. Given the size and the expansive population growth over the last few years, it should come as no surprise that the area has been rated so poorly. With this in mind, a number of green initiatives have been launched. Most have been done by non-governmental organizations, which have pushed the government to be more involved. The government has given its stamp of approval to some of the ventures, ensuring that they have a real chance to be successful.

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One of the most important ventures is happening with the railway system. The area’s primary system of public transportation is the railway and subway. It has been rated as a “green” railway because of intentional efforts to cut down on energy waste not only with the trains themselves, but also with the stations that have been built recently. In addition to that, the area’s primary airport has been improved to ensure environmental sustainability. This includes various efforts, including energy efficiency and the more effective use of water.

New Delhi has also taken steps to limit the amount of dust and pollution in the air. Tree planting efforts have taken place in city parks in hopes of reducing the amount of air pollution. The city has funded and supported this venture, working closely with environmental organizations to bring about change.

Green Initiatives Recommendations
The first green initiative recommendation should be undertaken by the government. While planting trees could be an effective way to eliminate some pollution, the biggest pollution problems in New Delhi have to do with rising dirt from the dirt roads. This is a major problem that needs to be addressed, and one of the best ways to address the issue is by paving those roads. Ultimately the capital should fund these efforts. This would benefit the day to day operations of the city, making traffic more efficient, as well. The primary benefit, though, would be a major reduction in the amount of dust in the air because people are still forced to use roads that produce this sort of negative externality.

Steps should also be taken to protect the Yamuna River. The river is one of the most important assets for Delhi. It is a part of the area’s history, and it provides significant benefits. However, the river’s banks have been eroded and the river has been polluted in some ways. This is in part because the city lacks solid waste treatment facilities that are adequate to keep up with the population growth there. Because this sort of infrastructure is not available, the river pays the price over time. This degrades the quality of life of individuals also threatens the city’s viability over the long run. As a complementary policy to this in order to provide long-term protection for the river, it is critical also to pass tougher laws against dumping and corporate pollution in and around the river. This will ensure that the river remains in good condition moving forward and that the erosion is stopped in its tracks.

Air pollution in the city is also caused by personal driving, which is extensive. Given the high quality of the city’s railway and subway systems, it is important for citizens to take it upon themselves to cut down on their own vehicle usage and transition some of their travel to public transportation. These infrastructure developments will improve the day to day life of citizens by ensuring that their streets are less clogged and that the quality of air is much better. This will also help to cut down on dust pollution until the city implements the paving changes listed above.

    References
  • Kumar, P., Khare, M., Harrison, R. M., Bloss, W. J., Lewis, A., Coe, H., & Morawska, L. (2015). New directions: air pollution challenges for developing megacities like Delhi. Atmospheric Environment, 122, 657-661.
  • Pandey, B. K., Vyas, S., Pandey, M., & Gaur, A. (2016). Municipal solid waste to energy conversion methodology as physical, thermal, and biological methods. Curr. Sci. Perspect, 2, 39-46.