New Delhi, March 24
The average lifespan of an Indian has shortened by four years and 11 months owing to the air pollution, reveals the 2023 State of India’s Environment report. In rural areas, people’s lives are on average cut short by five years and two months, which is nine months more than the average lifespan lost by urban Indians.
Air pollution, in fact, has shortened the lifespan of 43.4 per cent of India’s population by five years. The report was released by the Centre for Science and Environment (CSE) on Thursday. The CSE is a public interest research and advocacy organisation that is based in New Delhi.
Eight states and UTs saw the average lifespan shortened by five years or more while nine states saw the average lifespan shortened by three to five years, according to the report.
Among the states, Delhi saw the maximum plunge — 10 years — in lifespan in the country. The lowest life span fall, however, was recorded in Ladakh, where the life span was shortened by four months. In Haryana, the average life span reduction was seven years and five months. In Punjab, it was five years and 11 months.
According to the CSE, the analysis is based on the district-level air quality life index released by the Energy Policy Institute at the University of Chicago, US. The index estimates the relationship between PM 2.5 air pollution and life expectancy, allowing users to view the gain in life expectancy they could experience if their community met WHO PM 2.5 annual average guideline. “We are not acting at the scale of the devastation that we see around us. We will keep losing the battle unless we take more deliberate steps to reverse the damage,” said CSE director Sunita Narain.
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