The cost of serious health consequences from particulate matter pollution is estimated to be around 3 per cent of India’s GDP, according to a Health Ministry statement in Lok Sabha.
Minister of State for Health and Family welfare Anupriya Patel, in a written statement to the parliament, cited the ‘India – Diagnostic Assessment of Select Environmental Challenges’ report prepared by the World Bank Disaster Management and Climate Change Unit, which states that the total damage because of environmental degradation amounts to Rs. 3.75 trillion, which is equivalent to around 5.7 per cent of the India’s GDP.
“Government is making efforts to control air pollution by formulating environmental regulations, setting up of monitoring network for assessment of ambient air quality and promoting cleaner production processes,” Patel informed Lok Sabha.
Introduction of alternate fuels like gaseous fuel (CNG, LPG), implementation of Bharat Stage IV (BS-IV) norms in 63 select cities, promotion of public transport network of metro, buses, e-rickshaws and phasing out of 15 year old diesel vehicles in Delhi were some other steps taken by the Government to improve the air quality, the Minister said.
Meanwhile, Greenpeace India too, in a report, has claimed that total deaths caused due to air pollution in the country are underestimated at least by six lakh people.
According to the report, air pollution kills over 1.6 million people in India and China every year due to increasing use of fossil fuels, particularly coal.
It adds that out of the 6.5 million global deaths from air pollution in 2015, 3.4 million deaths were in China and India.
The total damage because of environmental degradation amounts to Rs 3.75 trillion.
According to the World Bank, Outdoor air pollution accounts for 29%, followed by indoor air pollution (23%).
In 2013, transportation contributed more than half of the carbon monoxide and nitrogen oxides, and almost a quarter of the hydrocarbons emitted into our air.
Source: The Times Of India