Apart from lighting firecrackers, we’re also getting ready for a debate about air pollution we go through every year as part of the festivities.
A back-of-the-envelope calculation suggests that it will cost Rs 12.5 crore per city per year for 10 years to report air pollution and its severity in real time.
When pollution is bad, we have to be more informed about the problem in advance and promote programs that avoid, improve, shift – just the way fuel is burnt in the city.
If after 20 years of dialogue we are exactly at the same (if not worse) place as we started at, how are we going to get better?
Real policy is not defensive short term emergency measures but something proactive spanning multiple years, and acting fast, local and through multiple agencies.
Installing an air filter in public is more like avoiding the problem and diverting attention away than solving it. Emissions should always be controlled at the source.