Only political will can fix Delhi's smog problem

Our readers have their say on pollution in northern India, Israel's leaders and Pakistan's good samaritans

People visiting the Akshardham temple are seen through a thick smog in New Delhi on Wednesday. AP
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I write in reference to Taniya Dutta's article India’s top court demands end to stubble burning to curb pollution (November 7): the issue of smog in Delhi during the winter is a very serious, contentious and persistent problem for its residents. It has been an issue for several years, with no easy solution in sight. Every single political party that has governed Delhi and the neighbouring states of Punjab and Haryana has failed in fixing the problem.

Some of Delhi's pollution is caused by vehicles and the wood that is burnt outdoors to keep the poor, particularly the homeless, warm. But by far, the biggest source is the stubble that farmers across Punjab and Haryana burn in order to clear the paddy for new crops. This happens during the winter.

Finding a lasting solution requires vision, imagination and sincerity, which many of today's politicians, unfortunately, seem to lack. So, rather than doing something about it, they rake up the issue about this time every year for the purpose of getting one-up over their rivals.

Until there is a genuine political desire to tackle the issue, I'm afraid it will resurface year after year after year.

K Ragavan, Bengaluru, India

Will Netanyahu's successor be any different?

I write in reference to Holly Johnston's report Poll finds the majority want Benjamin Netanyahu to resign as Israel protests spread (November 5): the problem is that no one knows whether whoever eventually succeeds him will have vastly different views.

Teresa Jones, Chicago, US

Pakistan's good samaritan

I write in reference to Tariq Ullah's report Meet the Peshawar rickshaw driver who takes 300 girls to school each day – free of charge (November 3): he's a hero. It's admirable that he's doing what he can to make such a huge contribution to improve society.

Usman Khan, Bahawalpur, Pakistan

Considering that this good samaritan was praised by Malala Yousafzai's father, perhaps he can organise a way to cover the rickshaw driver's costs so that he is able to continue doing this great work, without it taking a financial toll on him.

Wajid Ali, Sindh, Pakistan

Published: November 10, 2023, 3:00 AM