This refers to the editorial, ‘Tracking air’ (IE, April 7). Poor air quality takes a heavy toll on our health. According to the Council on Energy, Environment and Water, Delhi, in 2010, PM 2.5 pollution (that is, respirable suspended particulate matter measuring 2.5 microns or less) accounted for the loss of 6,27,000 lives in India — that’s double the death toll of diarrhoea. Apparently, “every 10 additional micrograms of PM10 in each cubic metre of air raises mortality risk significantly (about 0.2 per cent in Mumbai and Bengaluru, 0.85 per cent in Hyderabad and 1.36 per cent in Shimla)”. According to a study by the Central Pollution Control Board, the major causes of air pollution in big cities like Delhi and Chennai are road dust and vehicular exhaust. It is easy to counter the former by using mechanical sweepers, periodically sprinkling water on roads as well as by paving the shoulders of roads and pavements. The latter cause simply calls for the strict implementation and enforcement of existing laws and harsh penalisation of offenders. Much of the problem can be solved easily without worrying about the environment versus development debate.
— Y.G. Chouksey (Pune)
Dhaka on the brink
This refers to ‘A sadness in Bangladesh’ by Syed Badrul Ahsan (IE, April 6). The murder of two bloggers has rightly been viewed as an existential threat to the young nation. Perhaps these incidents of religious bigotry are engineered elsewhere? It may be recalled that the hanging of Jamaat leader Abdul Quader Mollah was described by Pakistan Interior Minister Chaudhry Nisar Ali Khan as unfortunate. In Srinagar, Hurriyat leader Syed Ali Shah Geelani described Pakistan as ungrateful for acting as a mute spectator to the hanging of Mollah. It is strange that the admirers of Mollah have been insensitive to the acts of genocide and rape during the liberation war of Bangladesh.
— A.K. Shukla (Delhi)
This refers to ‘Justice, bottom up’ by Satyananda Mishra (IE, April 7). The writer’s suggestion that an Indian judicial service be constituted for recruitment of subordinate court judges is relevant and the need of the hour. State public service commission procedures are usually not transparent. The commissions are prone to influence, inefficiency and corruption. A recent example is the leak of the general studies paper of the Uttar Pradesh Public Service Commission. Given the track record of the commissions, one cannot expect judicial or administrative officers of high aptitude and merit to be recruited by them.
— Ajeet Kumar (Kanpur)