Air pollution in India is getting worse with every passing day and has started showing its adverse effects, warns a new study. According to researchers, India’s air quality is no better than that of China, and it results in 1.1 million premature deaths every year. What’s alarming is that death rate in China has become steady in past few years whereas it is increasing exponentially in India and study authors believe that soon India will become world’s most air-polluted country present on the globe.
A team of researchers from two US-based health research institutes observed PM2.5 level between 1990 and 2015. They found nearly 50 percent increase in premature death caused by polluted air in India.
New Delhi, the capital of India, had witnessed crisis like situation in November last year just after Diwali festival when air pollution broke nearly every record, and the government was forced to close schools in order to prevent breathing problems suffered by the little kids. Delhi government temporarily closed coal-fired plants to decrease the amount of PM 2.5 released in the air. However, no major changes have been witnessed since then as premature death rate due poor quality of air is increasing at an alarming rate.
India’s air quality will not improve in coming few years until the government makes some drastic changes as it is a coal-based economy, said study authors. India is a developing country and coal is a cheap source of energy; also, developing an alternative solution of environment-friendly energy source would be very expensive. Thus, the air quality does not seem to improve anytime soon.
Moreover, Indian ministers are not addressing the issue and believe that millions of premature deaths are not results poor air quality as a number of factors have a different role to play.
“Lung and allied diseases are affected by a number of factors such as smoking, hereditary factors, lifestyle, occupation, socio-economic status, immunity levels, medical history etc. besides air pollution,” said environment minister Anil Madhav Dave in Rajya Sabha in December last year.