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Right move: How data on pollution source will help take concerted action

8 1 1
19.03.2019

The Supreme Court asking the Centre for a comparative study of pollution from firecrackers and that from vehicles is the approach that has been lacking in India’s fight against pollution. Governments, both the Centre and the states, as well as the courts have often favoured piecemeal solutions that have popular appeal. But, rarely has such an approach had a meaningful impact. The Delhi government, for instance, lobbed the odd-even initiative on the national capital twice in 2016—and brings it up now and then when there is talk of acting against pollution—but, as a report by the Central Pollution Control Board shows, the move did nothing to improve air quality. That is hardly surprising because, as the 2016 IIT-Kanpur study pointed out, the largest source of PM2.5 and PM10 pollution in the national capital is road dust, while industries are to blame for the lion’s share of its NOx pollution; vehicular pollution—within which two-wheelers were worse offenders than cars—contributed just 9%, the report had........

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