Who doesn’t want to live longer, but what would happen if someday, someone tells you that the way you live you are going to lose 9 years of life. Yes, it sounds scary but it is true. A recent study conducted by the Energy Policy Institute of the University of Chicago has had the same conclusions. Based on its research and the findings, it concluded that air pollution is likely to reduce the life expectancy of about 40% of Indians by more than nine years. Yes, you read it right, 9 YEARS OF LIFE OF 40% OF THE INDIANS is likely to be cut short due to pollution.
The report prepared by the Energy Policy Institute at the University of Chicago (EPIC) says that more than 48 crore people living in central, eastern and northern India, including the National Capital Region of New Delhi, endure significantly high pollution levels.
The report raised alarm over the high levels of air pollution that have expanded geographically over time like the deteriorating air quality in the western state of Maharashtra and the central state of Madhya Pradesh.
However, there were some positives in the report too, it acknowledged the steps in the right direction of India’s National Clean Air Program (NCAP) which was launched in the year 2019 to rein in dangerous pollution levels.
The EPIC report said that if NCAP is able to achieve and sustain its goals, then it would raise the country’s overall life expectancy by 1.7 years and that of New Delhi by 3.1 years.
The aim of NCAP is to pollution levels by 20 to 30 per cent in the 102 worst-affected cities in India by the year 2024 by ensuring cuts in industrial emissions and vehicular exhaust, introducing stringent rules for transport fuels and biomass burning and reduce dust pollution.
To arrive at the calculations of life expectancy, EPIC compared the health of people exposed to different levels of long-term air pollution and applied the results to various places in India and elsewhere.