A Shot of Hope, Health, and Technology

Considering air pollution as an emergency, and allocating INR 2,217 crores for 42 urban centres with a million-plus population to tackle the issue is, indeed, applaud-worthy. The voluntary vehicle scrapping policy, though largely a step in the right direction to reduce emissions and encourage eco-friendly transportation, could face implementation challenges in the absence of scrapping infrastructure and automated vehicle fitness checking centres. The assessment rules for personal vehicles (20 years) and commercial vehicles (15 years) will also need to be tightly enforced for a clean and clear sky.

With the consensus growing on acknowledging climate change risks as a bigger threat to India’s economic development goals than the shocks induced by the current pandemic, it is time for mainstreaming climate priorities in the annual budgeting and planning process. Unfortunately, explicit efforts towards climate risk adaptation were missed in Budget 2021. Going forward, development of climate-resilient infrastructure should be seriously considered.

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