Air Pollution: Cities Gasping in Smog of Policy Failures

It is not only Delhi that is polluted — 30 Indian cities are on the world’s 100 most polluted cities’ list. At the systemic level, the state of the environment really depends on what other ministries do or, more pertinently, fail to do.

The New Indian Express

The characterisation of disaster as emergency represents a new normal of semantics in politics.

The quality of air is the manifestation of policies on the ground. Pollution is largely the consequence of gaps in infrastructural capacity, of warped policies and distortionary dogmas.

Why are people forced to spend a quarter of their waking hours in metal containers burning expensive fuel?

Need for back up systems stems from economically unviable but electorally profitable policies — free power sops and politically patronised theft that have left state electricity boards bankrupt and powerless to fulfil a critical need.

The measures on the table are paracetamol prescriptions. Introducing new constraints, imposing costs on the people and the economy for policy failures are neither sustainable nor will be fruitful.

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