According to Greenpeace Southeast Asia (an NGO) analysis of economic losses caused by air pollution, PM 2.5 air pollution will cause about 54,000 lives in Delhi by 2020. PM 2.5 refers to fine particles with a diameter of less than 2.5 micrometers. It can cause breathing problems and reduce visibility. It is an endocrine disruptor that can affect insulin secretion and insulin sensitivity, leading to diabetes.
Report on Indian Cities:
♦ Delhi: In July 2020, Greenpeace found that in the 28 global cities under study, despite the strict implementation of the Covid-19 lockdown, Delhi still suffers the highest economic cost from air pollution, and it is estimated loss of 24,000 lives in the first half of 2020.
In 2020, Delhi’s air pollutant levels are still nearly six times higher than the annual average limit of 10 micrograms/m3 set by the World Health Organization (WHO).
The estimated economic loss related to air pollution is US$8.1 billion, which is 13% of Delhi’s annual Gross Domestic Product (GDP).
♦ Mumbai: An estimated 25,000 avoidable deaths in Mumbai by 2020 are due to air pollution caused by PM 2.5 and Nitrogen Dioxide (NO2).
♦ Other Cities: In the global analysis, the losses caused by air pollution in other cities (Mumbai, Bangalore, Chennai, Hyderabad and Lucknow) are equally worrying.
Bangalore, Chennai and Hyderabad estimate the avoidable deaths due to air pollution to be approximately 12,000, 11,000 and 11,000 respectively.
Global Scenario: In the five most populous cities in the world-Delhi (India), Mexico City (Mexico), Sao Paulo (Brazil), Shanghai (China) and Tokyo (Japan), about 1,600,000 people worldwide have died from PM 2.5 air pollution.
In 2020, the estimated economic cost of PM 2.5 air pollution in 14 cities included in the analysis exceeds US$5 billion.
♦ Initiatives to Control Air Pollution In India: Bharat Stage (BS) VI norms, Dashboard for Monitoring Air Quality, National Clean Air Programme, National Air Quality Index (AQI), National Ambient Air Quality Standards, Pradhan Mantri Ujjwala Yojana (PMUY).