The Dirty Car index for measuring Pollution !

I’ve been reading a lot on environmental issues lately, or rather a lot is being written about the environment in the media these days. There have been hundreds of articles, videos, blog posts and surveys done to find out the most polluted city in the world and the Indian media is not far behind. In almost every Indian survey/article I’ve come across, Delhi holds the dubious distinction of being the most polluted city in India.

I live in Bangalore and have at one point or the other in my life, lived in or travelled to various other cities in India like Pune, Mumbai, Delhi, Calcutta and a lot of other cities. Now, according to the surveys mentioned above, the level of pollution in any of these cities is nothing to be proud of. While Delhi comes right at top, most cities in India are just as bad, even if they don’t get mentioned in media.

If you ask me, I never know what to make out of these pollution surveys. How do they measure the amount of pollution in a city and how does that affect me ? I’m sure 90% of the consumers of these surveys don’t understand the numbers. I’ve never had a problem living in any of the cities I’ve mentioned and in fact, I think I’m doing quite well, health wise.

To make it easier for people like you and me I’ve devised a simple index, henceforth referred to as the DC/DV index (which stands for the Dirty Car/Dirty Vehicle Index).

The DC/DV index  is a way of measuring the amount of dust/dirt/grime that a vehicle accumulates if parked overnight in the open, compared to a vehicle parked inside a garage.

Why do I think this is important ? Because it is !

No, seriously, the amount of dust that your vehicle accumulates in the open IS roughly the amount of dust/grime that would go into your lungs if you were out there. And so, I believe, the DC/DV index should be an extremely important part of all pollution surveys out there.

Sure … its not scientific, but hey, its practical and that is what matters.

For starters, I’m going to rate a couple of Indian cities according to the DC/DV index.

1. Bangalore

2. Mumbai

3. Chennai

4. Pune

5. Calcutta

6. Delhi

So, how does Bangalore come on tops. This is the garden city. This was supposed to have clean air, right ? Wrong !

In the last year and half that I’ve stayed in Bangalore, I’ve been parking my car in the open every single night and trust me, the amount of dust on the car that I have to clean every morning is much more than any other city I’ve ever lived in. Every single day I spend atleast 15 minutes in the morning cleaning the car before driving it to office. And this is after the car wash guy comes and washes the car. So, an hour of the car being in the open is enough to cover it in a layer of dust thick enough that I cannot drive it without cleaning it again.

Compare this to say, Delhi. Sure, Delhi is polluted. The tonnes of carbon dioxide in the air is bad but when I park my car out in the open, in Delhi, I know I can still take it out in the morning without cleaning it for 15 minutes.

Any other cities worth adding to the list ? Let me know in the comments.

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  1. Gurgaon. Although maybe a part of the Delhi/NCR region, it’s the dust capital of India. On every road there’s somethign being constructed and the dust just keeps flying around.

    All those shiny glass buildings need to be constantly cleaned. Your car gets a substantially thick layer of dust and sand, which you cant rub off (will kill your windshield). If you wash it with the windshield washer, it’ll transform into sludge and still scratch your windshield.

    First you dust it, then you spray it with water and wipe dry. Was a pain. Now I work in NOIDA, and there’s no dust!

    Gurgaon is the dust shithole of the region.

  2. @Saad: You’re probably right. I haven’t stayed in Gurgaon enough to write about it. But, out of all the places I’ve lived in, Bangalore is the absolutel worst. And the problem is, it just keeps getting worse, instead of improving like a lot of other cities in India are !

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