Air pollution will reduce the life expectancy of about 40 percent of India’s population by more than nine years, researchers say in a Wednesday report by the Energy Policy Institute at the University of Chicago (EPIC).
In 2018, life expectancy in India was just over 69 years, according to the World Bank.
More than 480 million people of the approximately 1.3 billion Indians are affected by severe air pollution. They mainly live in parts of central, eastern and northern India, including the capital New Delhi. . Air quality in the western state of Maharashtra and the central state of Madhya Pradesh is said to have deteriorated significantly.
New Delhi was the world’s most polluted capital for the third year in a row in 2020, according to IQAir, a Swiss group that measures air quality based on the concentration of airborne particles that are harmful to the lungs.
During the summer lockdown of that year, the 20 million residents of New Delhi were allowed to breathe relatively clean air. However, large-scale fires in the nearby states of Punjab and Haryana soon returned poorer air.