Centre recently rejected a study that had claimed that life expectancy in Delhi has been reduced by six years owing to air pollution. Union Environment Minister Prakash Javadekar rejected the claims saying that Earth Sciences department did not agree with the findings.
The study was conducted by Indian Institute of Tropical Meteorology (IITM) which is an autonomous body under the Ministry of Earth Sciences. It was conducted by IITM scientists in collaboration with the National Centre for Atmospheric Research (NCAR), Colorado, US.
The minister said, “We reject the claims made in a so-called article that Indians lose six years of their life because of pollution. This study is based on regional atmospheric chemistry model. The research is based on studies done in Europe and America which are being extrapolated on India. The study is not done on sampling, ground study and long term observations. So this is completely unnecessary and defames India.”
The study titled 'Premature Mortalities due to PM 2.5 (finer particulate matter) and Ozone Exposure in India' found that life expectancy in the national capital has reduced by six years because of air pollution while Uttar Pradesh and Maharashtra are likely to account for the highest number of premature deaths.
Recognising pollution as a major problem, Javadekar said that there are other serious air pollutants predominantly present in foreign countries than in India like NOx, SOx and Ozone.
According to the World Health Organisation, the PM 2.5 levels of Delhi were reported to be 153 micrograms per cubic metre (µg/m³), which is three times the pollution level in Beijing, China, and 10 times the average pollution levels in New York.