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Life span to go up by 3 years if AQI levels improve in Delhi

On January 10, Union Environment Minister Harsh Vardhan had launched the much-awaited NCAP to improve air quality with 2017 as the base year.

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Life span to go up by 3 years if AQI levels improve in Delhi
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Delhiites’ life expectancy can increase by almost three years if the air quality is improved by 20 to 30 per cent in the next five years, as planned under the National Clean Air Programme (NCAP), a new study has found. 

On January 10, Union Environment Minister Harsh Vardhan had launched the  much-awaited NCAP to improve air quality with 2017 as the base year. 

The NCAP has proposed various measures to combat air pollution in the 102 most-polluting cities in the country that it has identified for having higher pollution levels than the national average. Hence, they stand to gain more if they follow through with their pollution reduction action plans, observes the study by Air Quality Life Index report on the ‘Potential Benefits of India’s War Against Pollution’. 

“If all of the 102 cities reduced particulate pollution by 25 per cent, their aggregate annual average PM2.5 exposure would be 14 g/m lower than 2016 levels. This would translate to an average gain in life expectancy of 1.4 years,” the report said. Among the 102 cities, a 25 per cent pollution reduction would translate to a two to three year increase in life expectancy for people living in 13 cities of Uttar Pradesh, two in Bihar, and Delhi, the report said. 

“In Delhi, reducing the annual average PM 2.5 by 25 per cent, or 29 g/m , would translate to a gain in life expectancy of roughly 2.8 years for the average resident,” the report added. 

“The payoffs from the successful implementation of NCAP could be substantial, with people in the most polluted areas - like Delhi - living almost three years longer,” said Michael Greenstone, a professor, who created the Index along with his colleagues at the Energy Policy Institute at the University of Chicago (EPIC).

“For this reason, NCAP has the potential to become a historic and watershed moment in Indian environmental policy,” he added.

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