Wednesday, 27 August 2014
Escaping From the Radar of Pollution
Grandstand filled with thousands people watching the racing cars; sometimes just a normal looking cars, sometimes trucks and sometimes a odd looking cars with axils like arms and legs extending outside their body like that of a spider to stop themselves from toppling while making sharp turns at very fast speed.
I watch this on TV filled with awe and little bit of dismay because here is the country who is trying hard to reduce pollution by cutting down the movement of the cars even for a necessary purpose by imposing taxes on fuel and import of cars despite having not so good public transport system to save the environment. And there fuel and rubbers are burnt just like that for entertainment. The rubber tyres are burnt and changed couple of times before finishing the race consisting of innumerable laps. One can imagine the emission - Here it may take years before the tyres require a replacement and on the race course the tyres are changed after few laps.
The races are not restricted to organized and well maintained race course, but there are racing going on the dirt roads and unofficial and illegal racing in the dead of the nights as partly depicted in some of the Hollywood movies: Fast and Furious, Death race, and so on. Pollution – who is thinking about it? Perhaps in those countries pollution by the cars are so insignificant due to the existence of other major polluting industries.
In Bhutan too there are some polluting events escaping the radars of the pollution watchers if there is any. For instance, ‘sang’- a ritual where there is a requirement of producing lots of smoke by burning green leaves of preferably cypress leaves and branches and pine leaves. There are some very religious people who do it every day early in the morning. If you see a thick cloud of smoke early in the morning from a monastery or some house, it is not that the house is on fire but it shows that there is a ‘sang’ ritual going on. Yes, the smoke of the ‘sang’ is aromatic but doesn’t it contain green house gasses?
Many a times I have seen during the archery matches if it rains or if there is fog people whether educated or not resorting to ‘sang’ rituals to clear the sky producing lots of smoke. I m still not being able to find the connection there, but sometimes the sky opens up due to that ritual, maybe a co-incidence.
In the mean time, here at Nganglam, it is hard to find conifer trees that is suitable for ‘sang’ and three cypress tree near the football ground of the Nganglam Lower Secondary School, right next to the road is becoming devoid of its branches due to ‘sang’ rituals. It would not be too far for that those trees to die. Another three cypress trees that are there in our campus is safe, because for the rare ‘sang’ rituals. The pruned leaves and branches are used and the over pruning is avoided to keep the endangered species alive. There are more Horn bills here than cypress trees.