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Diane Coffey (visiting fellow at Princeton University, visiting researcher at the Indian Statistical Institute, and co-executive director at r.i.c.e.) and Sangita Vyas (managing director at r.i.c.e.) write about “why pollution outside of Delhi receives so little attention when it seems to be such a dangerous problem.”

“It was recently announced that the odd-even policy is scheduled to return to Delhi in April. Since its trial in January, there has been heated debate over whether the experiment was successful. The impact of this policy on pollution levels is certainly an important question to answer. One thing is certain though – the odd-even policy brings much-needed attention to Delhi’s dangerously high levels of ambient air pollution.

“Unfortunately, Delhiites are not the only Indians exposed to hazardous levels of air pollution. Although pollution levels outside of Delhi tend to get less media attention, residents of other north Indian cities may be breathing air that is even more dangerous than Delhi’s. Data from the National Air Quality Index web portal, an initiative by the Central Pollution Control Board to make real-time air quality data available for 17 cities, showed that Patna, Lucknow, Ahmedabad, Muzaffarpur, and Faridabad had even higher levels of some important pollutants, on average, than Delhi did in November.” Read it on

Why just focus on Delhi? It’s high time that the government took air pollution in the rest of India seriously