Air pollution is cutting short life of an average Indian by over 5 years and of those living in Delhi by as much as 12 years (11.9) according to the latest study by Chicago University, TOI reported. According to the new Air Quality Life Index released by Energy Policy Institute at University of Chicago the rate of loss of life expectancy is higher when compared to WHO standards of air quality of 5 micrograms per cubic meter (µg/m3) but when compared to permissible Indian standards of pollution of very fine particulate matter (PM2.5) at 40 (µg/m3) the average loss of life years are 1.8 and Delhi average is at 8.5 years.
The newspaper report added that In 2022, AQLI that factored in the annual average PM2.5 levels of 2020, put an average Indian’s life expectancy loss by 5 years in India. The average PM2.5 level was slightly less in 2020 (56.2 µg/m3) compared to 2021 (58.7 µg/m3) due to Covid-linked lockdown.
Stubble burning chokes Madhya Pradesh; Centre focused on Delhi, Punjab and Haryana?
Worsening air quality resulting from crop residue burning is a huge national problem but government programmes and stubble burning data suggest that India’s crop residue management plans are centred around Delhi’s air pollution problem, rather than tackling the problem across the country, reported the Mongabay. The report points out that central Indian state of Madhya Pradesh saw 49,459 cases of stubble burning in the year 2020. The same year Punjab recorded 92,922 cases but since then, Madhya Pradesh has remained second only to Punjab in the number of stubble burning cases
The webportal goes on to report that the central government released over Rs. 3,062 crores from 2018 to 2023 to the state governments of Punjab, Haryana, Uttar Pradesh and Delhi for effective management of crop residue but Madhya Pradesh did not receive such financial support from the central government.
Food delivery workers on two wheelers exposed to carcinogens and toxic air: Study
A study conducted in Ghaziabad in the outskirts of Delhi has shown that Food delivery workers riding on two-wheelers, are breathing in highly polluted air. The workers are exposed to particulate matter and volatile organic compounds at much higher levels than standards set by India’s Central Pollution Control Board and the World Health Organisation, reported Mongabay. The study also found that about 67% of the workers surveyed had no awareness of the adverse impact of pollution on their health. Scientists have urged for improvement of working conditions such as better company policies, provision of protective equipment and regular health check-ups and health insurance.