The recent announcement at the inaugural Lee Kuan Yew World City Prize 2010 in Singapore crowning New Delhi among the top four global cities on the one hand and the burns of the construction work as well as ad hoc planning for the Commonwealth Games that the city is grilling under on the other makes a perfect base to study and understand the city’s relation to its physical, biological and social environment. And with the monsoon around the corner, what better way to do explore the urban ecology than through the Monsoon bioscope.
And why not! After all, the Monsoon provides critical ecosystem services to Delhi city each year. The Govt. may have spent crores of rupees on the cleaning of Yamuna River in Delhi, all of which went, for lack of a better phrase, down the drain. But the Monsoon comes once a year and cleans the entire stretch of Yamuna River in the city. Though we concertize the city with cement and unplanned activities, the monsoon ensures a ground water recharge of some degree. Delhi has a recorded history of dust problem and the RSPM and SPM is almost always above normal. Rains in the monsoon help settle the dust and the Govt. can give the controversial air sucker some time to ‘breathe’.
The Monsoon also rises our spirits and gives much respite from the summer heat, which gets killer in Delhi. The Ridge comes alive as do the various parks and gardens in the city and the wetlands in the entire NCT are replenished. However, we plan our cities while living an urban ‘carefree’ life and the planning is such that we forget to include natural resources such as the trees, and the 8-10 days long monsoonal rains every year. The result is, what is happening in Mumbai today, and what many fear is what the monsoon will do to Delhi this year. Floods, the city going under water, traffic jams, and a choked sewerage system.
Hence Delhi Greens, a not-for-profit organisation that advocates sustainable development and has always supported citizen’s voice for fair share in the decision making process, plans to conduct a season-wide study entitled “Delhi Monsoon 2010”, on how the city interacts with the Monsoon, relates to its environmental needs and how a balanced development is critical for the welfare of the citizens as well as for winning the battle against the hazards of large scale environmental degradation. We will study what the changes observed in the city from the moment the first drop hits the Delhi soil!
“Delhi Monsoon 2010” will also act as a platform for the public to share their views and raise their concerns. Delhi Greens will invite and engage the citizens through various competitions like ‘Monsoon in pictures’, ‘The best Monsoon spot in Delhi’, ‘Chai aur pakora talk’, ‘Monsoon debate’, etc. Experts on different topics will share their seasoned thoughts and tips and we promise to make this monsoon memorable and enlightening like never before. Delhi Monsoon 2010 will begin the moment Delhi is taken over by the South-west thundershowers!
For any query and to join us in our efforts, write to firstname.lastname@example.org
With inputs from Govind Singh