Why are there more stars in the sky in Virajpet than Bangalore?

I remember going to Virajpet (for the uninitiated, its a beautiful hill station in Karnataka) a year back, one night we were sitting on the lawn under the night sky and my kid asked “how come there are so many stars in Virajpet and only 2 or 3 in Bangalore?”

Now I know there could be a lot of scientific or astronomical justifications like diffused light, etc as to what could be the reason, but I wanted to direct his thinking towards a truth that will affect him and millions of kids like him, sooner rather than later.

The truth of air pollution, a truth that is staring at our face, a truth whose growth is relentless, silent and so invisible to all of that we always ignore it as someone else’s problem.

Air quality indices have put road transport amongst the top 3 contributors towards increasing air pollution. Which means, with every squeeze of the throttle knowingly or unknowingly, we all are contributing, at a nano level, towards dooming our kids’ or their kids’ future. 

As a step towards addressing the problem, governments across the world and India have adopted vehicular pollution control measures like Bharat Stage Emission Standards aka BSIII, IV and now BSVI.

BSVI is one of the most stringent standards globally, which is being adopted with the hope of reducing pollution levels.

Pollutingly speaking, BSVI ensures 80% lesser Sulphor and 70% reduction in Nitrogen Oxides in diesel vehicles, as compared to BSIV, which is the currently applicable BS standard. Accordingly auto manufacturers are tweaking their engines or implementing additional devices to ensure & monitor BSVI compliance. Also fuel companies are readying their supply chain to ensure BSVI fuel at the pumps. Some manufacturers are stopping production of diesel cars.

The days ahead will definitely be filled with a lot of uncertainty, speculations, heart burns and unfortunately job losses also.

But one thing is for sure, we can all count it as our contribution to the future of our kids.


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