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Solving North India's air quality crisis

The 2009 laws kicked off the air-quality crisis, so the best way forward for policy lies in going to the root cause and repealing these laws

Ayush Patnaik and Ajay Shah

North India faces a difficult situation on air quality, and this has adverse implications for the health of 600 million people. It is entirely feasible for policymakers to solve this problem. A key tool is source attribution: Apportioning the dust in the air to the underlying sources. This data capture in India is, at present, inadequate. There is significant evidence that crop burning in Punjab and Haryana was influenced by intrusive state laws enacted in 2009 for the purpose of water conservation. Crop burning in these states rose sharply after 2009. The two states need to repeal these ...