Question : Impact of Air Pollution on Life Expectancy

(a) whether the Government is aware of any scientific research leading to the conclusion that the life expectancy in India has gone down by 2.6 years due to deadly diseases caused by air pollution;
(b) if so, the details thereof and the response of the Government thereto;
(c) whether the Government has been successful in containing and gradually bringing down the pollution levels in the Indian cities as a part of any targeted approach on par with International norms and protocols;
(d) if so, the details thereof; and
(e) if not, the reasons therefor?

Answer given by the minister


(a) to (e): A Statement is laid on the Table of the House.


Statement referred to in parts (a) to (e) of Lok Sabha Starred Question No. 106 due for reply on 28.06.2019 regarding ‘Impact of Air Pollution on Life Expectancy’ by SHRI KODIKUNNIL SURESH, Hon''ble Member of Parliament

(a) & (b) Various Organizations/ Institutes, from time to time, have been publishing estimates of mortality/ morbidity attributable to environmental pollution based on models, simulations and extrapolations. One such estimate published in 2019 reports total life expectancy loss in South Asia from air pollution to be 2 years and 6 months. However, there are no conclusive data available in the country to establish direct correlation of death/ disease exclusively due to air pollution. Air pollution is one of the triggering factors for respiratory ailments and associated diseases. Health effects of air pollution are synergistic manifestation of factors which include food habits, occupational habits, socio-economic status, medical history, immunity, heredity, etc., of the individuals.

(c), (d) & (e) The Central Government has taken a number of regulatory measures for prevention, control and abatement of air pollution in the country. Continuous Ambient Air Quality Monitoring Stations (CAAQMS) data indicated general improvement in air quality of Delhi in 2018. Number of ‘Good’ to ‘Moderate’ days has increased to 159 in 2018, as compared to 152 in 2017 and 106 in 2016, and number of ‘Poor’ to ‘Severe’ days has reduced to 206, compared to 213 in 2017 and 246 in 2016. In Delhi, there is 7.3% and 14.8% reduction in PM2.5 levels and 8.6% and 16.5% reduction in PM10 levels in 2018 over 2017 and 2016 respectively. Various measures taken by the Central Government include-

Action Plans for Improvement of Air Quality in Delhi NCR:
(i) Graded Response Action Plan (GRAP) was notified on January 12, 2017, for prevention, control and abatement of air pollution in Delhi and NCR. It identifies graded measures and implementing agencies for response to four AQI categories, namely, Moderate to Poor, Very Poor, Severe and Severe + or Emergency.
(ii) The Central Government has notified a Comprehensive Action Plan (CAP) in 2018 identifying timelines and implementing agencies for actions identified for prevention, control and mitigation of air pollution in Delhi and NCR.
Action Plans for Improvement of Air Quality of Other Cities:
(i) Ministry of Environment, Forest and Climate Change has launched National Clean Air Programme (NCAP) in January 2019 to tackle the problem of air pollution in a comprehensive manner with targets to achieve 20 to 30 % reduction in PM10 and PM2.5 concentrations by 2024. This is keeping 2017 as the base year for the comparison of concentration. The overall objective is to augment and evolve effective ambient air quality monitoring network across the country besides ensuring comprehensive management plan for prevention, control and abatement of air pollution and enhancing public awareness and capacity building measures.
(ii) 102 non-attainment cities have been identified based on ambient air quality data for the period 2011 – 2015 and WHO report 2014/2018. A total of 86 city specific action plans have been approved for ground implementation.

• Setting up of monitoring network for assessment of ambient air quality. Central Presently, ambient air quality is being monitored at 779 locations covering 339 cities in 29 states & 6 Union Territories across the country under National Air Quality Monitoring Programme (NAMP). Further, real time monitoring is taking place at 170 locations in 102 cities in 18 States/UTs.
• Notification of National Ambient Air Quality Standards.
• Launch of National Air Quality Index.
• Implementation of Air Quality Early Warning System for Delhi in October, 2018 in association with Ministry of Earth Sciences (MoES).

• Leapfrogging from BS-IV to BS-VI fuel standards since 1st April, 2018 in NCT of Delhi and from by 1st April, 2020 in the rest of the country.
• Introduction of cleaner / alternate fuels like gaseous fuel (CNG, LPG etc.), ethanol blending.
• Promotion of public transport and improvements in roads and building of more bridges to ease congestion on roads.
• Operationalisation of Eastern Peripheral Expressway & Western Peripheral Expressway to divert non-destined traffic from Delhi.
• Streamlining the issuance of Pollution Under Control Certificate.
• Environment Protection Charges (EPC) have been imposed on diesel vehicles with engine capacity of 2000cc and above in Delhi NCR.

• Badarpur thermal power plant has been closed from 15th October, 2018.
• Notification of stricter emission norms for power plants.
• All brick kilns have been shifted to zig-zag technology in Delhi and NCR.
• Installation of on-line continuous (24x7) monitoring devices all red category industries in Delhi and NCR.
• Revision of emission standards for industrial sectors from time to time.
• Ban on pet coke and furnace oil - monitoring of use of pet coke in Lime Kilns/Cement Kilns and Calcium Carbide Industry in Delhi and NCR States.

Biomass and Solid Waste
• A new Central Sector Scheme on ‘Promotion of Agricultural Mechanization for in-situ management of Crop Residue in the States of Punjab, Haryana, Uttar Pradesh and NCT of Delhi’ for the period from 2018-19 and 2019-20 has been launched.
• Banning of burning of biomass/garbage.
• 3 Waste-to-Energy (W-t-E) plants are currently operational in Delhi with atotal capacity of 5100 Tonnes Per Day (TPD).
• Notifications of 6 waste management rules covering solid waste, plastic waste, e-waste, bio-medical waste, C&D waste and hazardous wastes issued in 2016.

• Notifications regarding dust mitigation measures for construction and demolition activities.
• Number of mechanised road sweeping machines has been increased significantly and presently 60 machines are deployed for cleaning of roads in Delhi.

Public Outreach
• Ministry of Environment, Forest & Climate Change and Uttar Pradesh, Punjab, Haryana, Rajasthan and Delhi Governments launched Clean Air for Delhi Campaign from 10th – 23rd Feb 2018 and to check air polluting activities pre and post Diwali, a special campaign called “Clean Air Campaign” during November 01, 2018 to November 10, 2018.
• Ministry is promoting peoples participation and awareness building among citizens for environmental conservation through Green Goods Deeds that focus on promotion of cycling, saving water and electricity, growing trees, proper maintenance of vehicles, following of lane discipline and reducing congestion on roads by car pooling etc.
• Development of mechanism for redressal of public complaints regarding air pollution issues in Delhi and NCR (through ‘Sameer App’, ‘Emails’([email protected]) and ‘Social Media Networks’ (Facebook and Twitter) etc.


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