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Indian Supreme Court advocate Gopal Sankaranarayanan writes about the past 20 years of missed opportunities by the Central government and state agencies to do something about growing levels of air pollution.

“How exactly did things become so bad? Almost 20 years ago, the Supreme Court had stepped in to pass strong directions to protect the environment of Delhi. Brick kilns and polluting industries were shifted out and public transport vehicles were directed to shift to CNG from the toxic diesel that had lent a haze over the Capital. These orders were then ex
tended to cover the rest of the country, but as with many directions of the Court, the lack of enforceability by state agencies allowed loophole.

“In the meanwhile, India continued to be casual about three major concern areas: the move to cleaner vehicle fuels, the burning of crops and trash in the open, and a ban on polluting vehicles….”

Sankaranarayanan asserts, “It is about time the Central government stopped waiting for the Supreme Court to act, and instead did something about a national issue. Delhi will slowly repeat itself a hundred times in the Kanpurs, Mysores, Patnas and Nagpurs of India, and unless emergency measures are taken at a national level, it will too late for every little town and village. Pollution is now a political issue. And our children are watching.” The Economic Times. Read it on

Legislation to reduce air pollution urgently needed