SCORCHED EARTH POLICY?
The Supreme Court has ordered that the bursting of firecrackers during Diwali be restricted in the national capital to ‘designated areas’ and only between 8 and 10 p.m. The air over Delhi is, of course, a threat to its citizens, a choking hazard. Diwali exacerbates an already deadly situation. But Diwali crackers are a distraction, enabling the whiners who see the SC’s common sense as an assault on their freedoms. The causes of pollution in Delhi are a nasty cocktail of street dust, vehicular pollution, smoke from cooking fires, industry, and, arguably above all, crop burning (seen in pic) in neighbouring states. A recent Harvard University study suggested that as much as half of Delhi’s air pollution, particularly in October and November, is the result of crop burning. It’s an unfailing seasonal calamity and yet there are no solutions, none that don’t leave farmers out of pocket.