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The Perils of a Technobahn Approach to Solving Air Pollution

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This technobahn is a failure (picture credit: Indian Express) What is technobahn? Bahn essentially refers to a physical track or a train in German and its sister languages. Technobahn would in literal sense mean a techno track. It is important to define this phrase because it is perhaps the best way to describe the haphazard manner in which air pollution is tackled in India at all levels.  Now, it would be easy for any reader to see this introduction and dismiss the rest of the piece, calling it a kind of hit job on those who want to solve the issue. At the outset, let me clarify that this is not about science and technology per se; rather, this is about a mindset that has come to dominate the way we deal with air pollution on a daily basis. Technobahn is a concept that I have come across in recent times, and essentially refers to the single track approach of thinking that technology can solve every problem that plagues mankind today. While technology does offer us great solutions, the

Looking Beyond - Air Pollution is a National Problem, Not Just Delhi’s

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Pollution Happens Everywhere, Not Just Delhi (credit: Wikimedia commons) For the last five days, the National Capital Region (NCR) consisting of Delhi and cities in its neighboring states has dominated media space. Deliberation on pollution is a necessary and welcome change in the media, for issues like these need their magnifying glares for action. However, there has a problem created by this Delhi-obsessed discussion over air pollution. The brouhaha on Delhi’s pollution seems to create the perception that pollution is yet another problem being highlighted by Delhi centric media. This has led to the belief for many ordinary people that air pollution is a problem only in the big, rich cities but does not bother them. Nothing could be further from the truth though. We Are Getting Serious About Pollution Measurement Only Now Ours is a country that is drowning in waste and swimming in air pollution; however, this does not necessarily reflect correctly in data. Delhi is certainly well high