When Delhi’s Air Was Black With Smog — In 1996

Conflicts of Interest
My Journey through India’s Green Movement
Book Excerpt 

A Cloud of Black Air Over Delhi

I remember the day as if it was yesterday. It was April 1999 and I was at my first press conference. It had been organised to tell the world that we had received a legal notice from Tata Motors for a whopping Rs 100 crore.

This was over an article that my late colleague Anil Agarwal and I had written, talking about toxins emitted by diesel vehicles that were dangerous to our health. Anil had fallen ill. He had asked me to handle the press. I was faced with what I can only describe as a hostile group — Tata was a respected business house; Centre for Science and Environment (CSE) was unknown at that time, while I was even lesser known.

My message was: Diesel vehicles emit fine particles. They were known then as PM

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