As winter sets in, the air quality in most cities in India turns critically poor. Triggered by climate change, the situation worsens every year, impacting people’s physical and mental health. More than 2.3 million Indians died prematurely due to pollution in 2019 of which 1.6 million deaths were due to air pollution, found a study. Measures to reduce and combat air pollution are taken half-heartedly or seasonally, and the lack of accountability makes the clean air action plans a one-time exercise. Wearing masks and staying indoors are not solutions. The central, state and city governments should realise that bad air – a silent killer – if not curbed with long-term and sustainable action, can jeopardise the health of millions and adversely impact the economy too.