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Laveesh Bhandari misses the point when he talks about monitoring as the solution to pollution in India.

The solution consists of five components – Standards, incentives, penalties, inspection(monitoring), law enforcement.

Standards exist and continue to evolve.

Incentives exist for some polluting constituencies and will happen for others too.

Penalties exist and continue to change and evolve.

The biggest problem is enforcement.

There are not enough inspectors and enforcement is not working even where there are inspectors. The polluting factory is able to get away by bribing the inspector, and that’s if the inspector actually inspects the factory.

The crop burning polluting farmer gets away because there is no inspector. The inspector would anyway not dare to take on the entire village where every farmer is a crop burner.

Reports on sand mining usually refer to the sand mining “mafia” for obvious reasons.

The less said the better for rock quarries, mangrove destruction, unorganised sector mining and more.

The elephant in the room is lack of adequate law enforcement capacity (inspectors) and corruption.

True, a transparent technology monitoring system can help to make inspectors accountable. It can reduce opportunities for corruption. I’ll grant Loveesh that. But that’s if such a grand, national monitoring system sees the light of day. That’s not going to happen before 2030 because the political will does not exist to make the necessary investments.

After 2030, the technology framework will automatically come up anyway, whether any proactive government investments are made or not. It’s inevitable, because the satellite network and terrestrial IoT network will continue to grow and its growth will now accelerate.

Read Laveesh Bhandari’s article here: https://wap.business-standard.com/article/opinion/how-technology-can-help-curb-pollution-119030900539_1.html

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