Sunday, January 01, 2017

Pollution Creating Jobs in Delhi

The plastic curtains covering the “air pollution-free” bus stand at Delhi’s traffic artery on Vikas Marg, ITO flutter every time a vehicle passes by. For Bijoy Kumar Farida, 65, the curtains also keep the cold wind out through the night as he sits and “guards” three air purifier machines set up by a private firm as a CSR initiative to provide a “pollution-free” corner in the city. When commuters are long gone after 11 pm, he switches off the machines and huddles up under a blanket; a thick sheet on the metal bench his bed for the night.

“The machines give out very cold air. The temperature has dropped. It will get icy if they keep running,” Kumar says. He will switch the machines on if someone walks into the bus stand, but in the six days since he has been posted as a guard, he hasn’t seen anyone come between 11.30 pm to 5 am.

Also read - Delhi's plan for air filters is a red herring

The three air purifiers are attached to the metal bench using a chain and lock. Two men guard the machines in 12-hour shifts. “I sit right next to the machines. Even if I start to snooze, I wake up if someone comes close to the machines. They are expensive so I am always afraid of someone taking them away or damaging them,” says Kumar. The LED display on the stand shows the PM 2.5 levels inside and outside the bus stop. When they are off, the levels outside are as 345, and 132 behind the curtains. The figures change to 395 and 120, minutes after Kumar turns on the machine.

Read the full article @ Indian Express

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