The Energy Policy Institute at the University of Chicago (EPIC) has released a report taking into account the air quality index which states, in the past two decades, Delhi had the worst level of pollution in 2016 as that year reduced the life expectancy of residents by more than 10 years.
The study also concluded that the national capital was among the top 50 polluted cities in the country. Trailing Nepal, India is the second most polluted country in Asia. Delhi’s reduction in life expectancy is the highest in Asia which is more than six years.
Air pollution more harmful than cigarettes
The report also stated that globally, particulate pollution is a huge life threat as it reduces life expectancy by 1.8 years. According to the report, first-hand cigarette smoke reduces life expectancy by 1.6 years, reported Times Now.
“The impact of particulate pollution on life expectancy is comparable to that of smoking, twice that of alcohol and drug use, three times that of unsafe water, five times that of HIV/AIDS, and more than 25 times that of conflict and terrorism,” it said. The report further stated that particulate matter pollution reduced the average life expectancy in India by 4.3 years compared to 2.2 years in 1998.
It said that Bihar, Uttar Pradesh, Haryana, Punjab, and the National Capital Territory of Delhi are in more danger as the life expectancy in these areas has reduced by more than six years. It said that air pollution is the single greatest threat to human lives, more than HIV/AIDS, diabetes and cigarettes.
Artificial rain in Delhi
With the pollution in Delhi refusing to subside, the Cente is planning to induce artificial rain to wash down the pollutants, Union Minister Mahesh Sharma said.
Reportedly, the Centre will implement the plan of inducing artificial rain when/if the air quality level crosses the 500 mark.
Cloud seeding is a method of using chemical agents, including silver iodide, dry ice and even common table salt with already formed clouds, to make them heavier and induce rain. Last year too, there were several talks about inducing artificial rain to reduce pollution, but the plan never became the reality.
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