For those not reeling from its effects first-hand, northern India’s already poor air quality is worsening. The Supreme Court has ordered the impounding of 15-year-old petrol and 10-year-old diesel vehicles in Delhi. Administrators have warned of possible restrictions on the use of private vehicles.
That’s all very well. But the pre-winter ritual of reeling from severe air pollution in the National Capital Region (NCR) and elsewhere is nothing new. And yet, here we are again, on panic mode.
One would have thought that as the capital of a nation that finally reckons that Swachh Bharat isn’t just a slogan, Delhi would have made substantial progress in improving its air quality. It hasn’t.
Why? Because in true jugaad-fatalistic fashion, it continues to approach the problem as a seasonal hardship that, if one holds one’s breath long enough, will simply go away. Read More
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