Improving air quality in India is a long-term endeavor that requires sustained efforts, according to Richard Peltier, a senior US scientist and member of the World Health Organization’s Global Air Pollution and Health Technical Advisory Group. In an interview with PTI, Peltier emphasized the need for a marathon-like approach, citing the example of the United States, which took 50 to 60 years to achieve generally good air quality after implementing the Clean Air Act in the 1960s. Peltier dismissed cost-intensive technologies like smog towers and cloud seeding as unsustainable solutions to India’s pollution problem.

Regarding smog towers, he acknowledged their effectiveness on a small scale but deemed them impractical for entire cities due to cost and maintenance challenges. He compared it to “trying to dry up a big mighty river with a bath towel.” Additionally, Peltier expressed reservations about cloud seeding technology, highlighting its lack of sustainability and long-term viability.