Life expectancy of Delhi residents will increase by three years, if air quality improves by 20 to 30 per cent in the next five years, according to a new study.
Union Environment Minister Harsh Vardhan had launched the much-awaited "National Clean Air Programme" to improve air quality by 20 to 30 per cent in the next five years, with 2017 as the base year.
The NCAP has proposed multiple strategies to combat air pollution in the 102 most-polluting cities in the country.
The 102 cities singled out by the NCAP have higher pollution levels than the national average, so they stand to gain more if they follow through with their pollution reduction action plans, according to a study by Air Quality Life Index on ''Potential Benefits of India's War Against Pollution''
Among the 102 cities, a 25 per cent pollution reduction would translate to a 2-3 year gain in life expectancy for the residents of 13 cities in Uttar Pradesh, two in Bihar, and Delhi, the report said.
"The payoffs from the successful implementation of NCAP could be substantial, with people in the most polluted areas - like Delhi - living almost three years longer," said Michael Greenstone, a professor, who created the Index along with his colleagues at the Energy Policy Institute at the University of Chicago (EPIC).
"For this reason, NCAP has the potential to become a historic and watershed moment in Indian environmental policy," he added.