New Delhi: The pollution situation in India is becoming frightening. Due to pollution, the average age of man in India is decreasing by 5.2 years (as per WHO standards) and 2.3 years as per national standards. This is revealed in the Energy Policy Institute report of the University of Chicago. According to the report, a large proportion of India's 1.4 billion population lives in places where the average level of perticulate pollution exceeds World Health Organization (WHO) standards, while 84 percent of people live in places where pollution Level exceeds the standards set by India. The report also revealed that from 1998 to 2018, India's pollution has increased by 42%.
The report warns that if pollution levels continue to rise in this manner, the average age of people living in North India can be reduced to 8 years. According to the report, one-fourth of India's population is facing pollution levels like no other country. According to a report by the Energy Policy Institute of the University of Chicago, Lucknow, the capital of Uttar Pradesh, has the most decreasing lifespan. Pollution in Lucknow is 11.2 higher than the World Health Organization (WHO) standards. If this level of pollution continues, then due to pollution in Lucknow, the age of 10.3 years will be reduced. Pollution levels are also dangerous in India's capital Delhi. In such a situation, if this level continues then on average, the age will be reduced by 9.4 years. The report also said that pollution levels can be extended up to seven years in states like Bihar and West Bengal, as per WHO standard. Right there
Milton Freedman Professor and Director of the Energy Policy Institute and Professor of Economics Michael Greenstone says the risk of corona virus is considerable. This needs serious attention, but in some places, air pollution needs to be taken seriously, so that crores of billions of people get the right to live longer. Michael Greenstone has also founded AQLI with his colleagues at the Energy Policy Institute (EPIC) at the University of Chicago.
India is making policy
According to a report by the Energy Policy Institute of the University of Chicago, the people of India have recognized the problem of air pollution in the current years and the government has also taken steps to reduce it. In 2019, the central government waged a war against pollution and launched the National Clean Air Program. The objective of this program was to reduce periculate pollution by 20 to 30 percent in the coming five years. In the report, scientists have warned that if India is not able to succeed in its campaign, then it can have serious consequences. Lowering the level of pollution will increase the average life rate of the people of the country by 1.6 years (if reduced by 25 per cent) and increase by 3.1 years for the people of Delhi.
Michael Greenstone, a Milton Freedman professor and director of the Energy Policy Institute and professor of economics, says the reality is that the measures and resources that India currently has are strong public policy measures to significantly improve air pollution levels. Through the AQLI report, common people and policy makers are being told how air pollution is affecting them. Also, how this report can be used to reduce pollution.
Research is going on in Chicago with University of Chicago
State governments in India are already working towards improving air quality. The world's first Emission Trading System (ETS) for Particulate Matter (Particle Pollution) is running in Gujarat in association with Chicago University, where others are collaborating with the University of Chicago and the Gujarat Pollution Control Board. Under this ongoing pilot project in Surat, research is going on to reduce particulate pollution from industrial plants.
History is full of examples of how strong policies can reduce pollution, prolongs people's lives, says Greenstone. According to him, this is a great opportunity for leaders in India and South Asia to weave the next success story as they work to balance the twin goals of economic development and environmental quality. The success of Surat ETS suggests that both goals can be achieved simultaneously by a market-based flexible approach.
Perticulate matter or particle pollution is a mixture of solid particles and liquid droplets present in the atmosphere. The particles in the air are so small that you cannot even see with the naked eye. Some particles are so small that they can only be detected using an electron microscope. Particle pollution includes PM2.5 and PM10, which are very dangerous. Perticulate matter is of different sizes and can be caused by both human and natural sources. Sources can be primary and secondary. Primary sources include automobile emissions, dust, and cooking smoke. Secondary sources of pollution can be complex reactions of chemicals such as sulfur dioxide and nitrogen oxide. These particles get mixed in the air and pollute it. Apart from these, forest fires, wood burning stoves, industry smoke, Dust arising from construction works are air pollution etc. and sources. These particles get into your lungs, which can cause cough and asthma attacks. There is a risk of high blood pressure, heart attack, stroke and many more serious diseases.