For probably the first time in several years, access to clean water is an election promise in a major state.
According to an article in India Today, all major political parties have made providing clean water a part of their manifestos for the upcoming elections in West Bengal. While this is a good step, it begs the question, when will access to pollution-free air find a place in a major political party’s manifesto? After all, toxic air kills and sickens more people in India annually than covid 19 ever will.
Unfortunately, toxic air never receives the kind of political attention it warrants. Air pollution levels in North India routinely reach levels at which, had the same happened in the west, citizens would be evacuated.
Even when those in power do talk about air pollution, they focus on relative non-issues like vehicular pollution. The real problem in India is large scale crop and garbage burning.
Unless these issues are addressed, our air will remain toxic even if every single vehicle in the country runs on electricity.