The local government of London has an approved plan to construct a car tunnel under the Thames river to link the south and east of the city. The plan envisages reducing the congestion providing an alternate route to move from eastern part to the southern part in less time and without any traffic jam. The project will also boost local economy by creating new jobs and give a push to construction sector.
However, environmentalists have quite a differing opinion about this new development project. They call it a willful mistake to raise the load of air pollution just to smoothen the flow of the traffic. If this tunnel is constructed – they opine – the people living around the tunnel area have to inhale smoke emissions of 30,000 more vehicles than the quantity they are suffering from now. They say the Town Planners are no doubt serious to solve the traffic problem of the city but are simultaneously enhancing its air pollution problem.
The plan of new Thames tunnel aims to build a dual carriageway tunnel starting near the Dome on the south bank of the river and emerging on the north side in Tower Hamlets with a cost of one billion pounds. The feasibility of the project is done and work on it would start by next year.
Fears of civil society
But a vocal civil society of London has demanded to developers and planners of London to make it a sustainable project keeping in full view of the environmental aspect. By constructing this tunnel it is correct that time and fuel can be saved and people can avoid undue botheration because of the traffic jams but in return they have to suffer from the air pollution that directly affects their respiratory health.
Impact on human lungs by air pollution
Some environmentalists also predicted that if this tunnel is erected then people living near the tunnel particularly and all Londoners generally would have reduced lungs because of the air pollution. When lungs have to use more force to inhale oxygen in a suffocating environment due to air pollution the size of their lungs reduces noticeably. Even if they shift from the polluted place to a safer one even then their lungs will not come back to the previous size.
It may be recalled that last year 4,300 people were died in London because of the direct or indirect effects of the air pollution. If the flow of traffic is smoothen further to facilitate their plying for a longer period of time on roads it is possible that after this tunnel the death count shoot up further. Apart from deaths, the number of people who are suffering from other fatal diseases is not exactly known because air pollution is termed one of the causes of a disease and is not solely held responsible.
Demand of viable solution
Environmentalists are of the view that instead of accommodating the load of traffic over the roads of London by helping them save time and fuel, local government should devise a plan to just reduce the load of traffic. This can be done by providing more facilities in public transport and raising its volume to serve more and more commuters. They believe with the same cost London administration can devise an alternative plan fully suitable for the traffic and against the traffic pollution.
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