Wednesday, March 19, 2008

Pollution: Delhi's common wealth?

Image from The Times, South Africa
Haile Gebreselassie, the champion runner, has confirmed in an interview with El Pais that he will not run in the Beijing Olympics marathon due to the climatic conditions in the Chinese capital. "I have no intention of committing suicide in Beijing," the Ethiopian, who suffers from asthma, told the paper bluntly. "It’s purely a personal decision that I have taken to protect my health. I do not want to endanger my future. I do not want to kill myself in Beijing."

Which throws up an interesting and embarrassing possiblity: What if an athlete refuses to take part in Delhi's Commonwealth Games in 2010 for the same reason? An Asian Development Bank report has already declared that Delhi and Beijing have the dirtiest air in Asia. Hopefully, some farsighted bureaucrat will now have the sense to speed up anti-pollution measures in the country. Top on that list, urgently bring in ample number of new and comfortable buses for public transport and reduce private vehicular traffic on Delhi's roads.


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