Everybody Loves a Good Smog

With the North India smog repeatedly reminding us that we are in no way ready to arrest climate change, it is high time we switched to sustainable and equitable modes of transport.

November is here. And, like clockwork, air pollution is once again on our lips (and deep in our lungs). Over the first weekend of November, and again over this past week, air pollution levels broke the charts across the National Capital Region and reached public emergency levels (Severe Plus). Responses from the government have been along expected lines, and expectedly insufficient. It has become painfully clear that we, as a society, are completely unequipped to deal with complex multidimensional issues and our fight against climate change is a mismatched one.

The odd–even programme once again came into force in Delhi on 4 November with the intent of reducing noxious emissions from private vehicles. Much has been written about its previous outings, especially about its (in)efficacy in keeping down vehicular pollution, which contributes to at least a fifth of the total pollution. Even now, people have questioned it over its multiple exemptions and its duration. Successive governments have been bickering over curtailing stubble burning, with the Supreme Court also clearly conveying its stance. Perhaps, we may be able to resolve this prickly issue in a manner acceptable to all stakeholders, especially the farmers, by the time next winter rolls in. Delhi will still have to deal with reducing pollution from other sources, especially from vehicles and construction.

To read the full text Login

Get instant access

New 3 Month Subscription
to Digital Archives at

₹826for India

$50for overseas users

Updated On : 19th Nov, 2019

Comments

(-) Hide

EPW looks forward to your comments. Please note that comments are moderated as per our comments policy. They may take some time to appear. A comment, if suitable, may be selected for publication in the Letters pages of EPW.

Having lost a dear friend, the author reflects on the nature of friendship, and its relationship with memory.

As mounting performance pressure on students lays the ground for increasing malpractice, what can academic administrators do differently?

At the root of sexual harassment in the arts is an unquestioning culture of subservience.

Could the lived experiences of Joe Biden and Kamala Harris, shared with millions of Americans, be their ticket to the White House?

As the concert stage is left empty, what can music and musicians do differently for the art form?

Amitav Ghosh’s novel goads us to seriously rethink our world, and finds new relevance under current circumstances.

S P Balasubrahmanyam’s influence on the Telugu people extends beyond singing and cinema.

Back to Top