Dec 6, 2011

Light Pollution - A nuisance seemingly out of control

By - Anoop Jha

Light Pollution propelled by shear lack of awareness


If you will conduct a survey asking city dwellers, including educated as well as  illiterate population of any developing country to name the types of pollution they know, they tell you water and air pollution, few of them might also tell you Sound pollution but, you will find only handful of population even aware of the phenomenon of light pollution. This is unfortunate that people don’t even know about the price they pay in the name of industrialization and development, not even aware of their rights to live in a healthy pollution free environment.

There is a very simple and straight reason for all this unawareness - there is no curriculum throughout the hierarchy of education ladder that teaches the existence, cause, effects and resolution of light pollution. At least it wasn’t included in course structure in recent past. Another reason of lack of awareness is that majority of young population who were born and brought up in city and have not visited or spent time in any rural area or outskirts of city, they don’t even know that how does a clear night sky look like. They haven’t observed stars in real, lying on the terrace of their home, or in front lawn of their home, because majority of them live in compact flats in the comfort of controlled indoor temperature, they have only vague memories of star filled sky from a movie or childhood imagination of stories that their grandparents used to tell them. Possibly Light pollution is more of intangible in nature and awareness, hence planning communities as well as city authorities are more concerned with the tangible issues whose effects are visible and well known by citizens like water and air pollution.    

Acute phenomenon of light pollution calls for strict urban lighting Guidelines and Regulations whether people are aware of it or not. Parallelly an education drive needs to be conducted throughout the country to make people aware of the illness of industrialization, massive unregulated developments, their rights, emerging global phenomenon.  
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