“At last India tops the charts. Six of our cities have made it to the World’s Top 10 list, thirteen to the Top 20. We may be bored with our nation’s impressive ranking near the bottom of various socio-economic indicators, but this performance will move even the most die-hard cynic: when it comes to the quality of the air we breathe we lead, bar none. At the very bottom.”
“…The world’s environmental and health experts are totally aligned on the view that the menace of air pollution in urban India needs tackling on a war footing.
However a succession of Indian governments don’t quite seem to agree. The problem has been steadily on the rise from 2010, when de-regulation and a subsequent soaring of petrol prices led to a massive surge in the sale of diesel cars. However, despite a steadily rising crescendo of pleas by activists the government of the time paid no heed.”
“…What could the government do to fix the problem, if it was not in denial? The biggest contributor to the surge in air pollution over the past few years is without doubt, the surge in the number of diesel vehicles. The soaring differential in the price of petrol and diesel (which peaked at Rs 33 per liter in 2013) led to the share of diesel cars moving from 15% of all new cars to 60%. One diesel car using Euro 4 diesel – the fuel currently distributed in our metros – emits as much deadly particulate matter as 7 petrol cars. More than anything else, the government needs to fix the unchecked growth and emission levels of diesel-run vehicles.” The Times of India – Rahul Kansal. Read it on delhiair.org