The Indian capital is now Earth’s most polluted city, and its smog levels are so high they could affect its people’s lifespan.
New Delhiis now rated as the most polluted city in the world, being air pollution 60 times higher than the safe level, and a recent joint study by the universities of Chicago, Yale and Harvard found that, because of this, half of the Indian population could lose up to three years’ lifespan.
Prakash Javadekar, Minister for Environment, Forests and Climate Change, admitted that the level of particulate matter (PM10) has exceeded required limits over Delhi and five bordering cities, and, as this could cause serious health problems, he asked the Delhi government to develop an action implementation plan.
A recent survey carried out by Greenpeace India revealed that in Delhi fine particulate matter (PM2.5) were four times the Indian safety limits and ten times that of the World Health Organization’s, and what is most alarming is that India doesn’t have any health advisory measures in place for Delhiites on heavy pollution days.
Another study issued in 2014 by the Jawaharlal Nehru University (JNU) showed that Delhi’s air is filled with cancer-causing particles, and that the levels of pollution could provoke more than 47.000 premature deaths per million populations within the city.
Also, data on 2014 PM2.5 levels from the Delhi Pollution Control Committee’s monitoring stations reveals that Delhi had several days with poor air quality compared to that of Beijing. However, unlike India, in the last years China has implemented emergency action plans to deal with heavy pollution episodes, and has issued innovative measures to provide its citizens cleaner air to breathe as well; in fact, in less than eight years Beijing reduced its air pollution by about 4%, especially by introducing cleaner fuels, putting restrictions on buying new vehicles and setting incentives for adopting electric vehicles.
The gLAWcal Team
Tuesday, 17 March 2015