Air Pollution

[op-ed snap] India has 13 of the 20 most polluted cities of the world-WHO I

  1. Context: India’s air has become unbreathable. Urgent action is needed to cleanse Indian skies
  2. Measures: Government has agreed to speed the adoption of tougher vehicle emissions standards, making them mandatory by 2020
  3. SC has doubled the fees for commercial trucks entering Delhi, Capital’s taxis ordered to switch from highly polluting diesel to compressed natural gas
  4. Bans on burning garbage and agricultural waste, fines levied for spreading construction dust
  5. Efforts needed: Rethink existing car-centric policies, more investment needed in buses and commuter rail lines
  6. To make driving more expensive, cities should raise parking fees, impose traffic-congestion charges and even institute an auction system like Singapore’s that imposes a cost on every car
  7. Urban areas need more walking and cycling paths, encourage shift of freight from roads to railways and waterways
  8. Construction companies that fail to minimize dust levels should be fined aggressively, cities need to invest in vacuum sweepers to clean roads frequently
  9. Where possible, streets should be paved “wall to wall,” eliminating dusty and debris-filled roadsides
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