By Sonali Telang

Citizens in Maharashtra can live up to 3.5 years more if the air quality improves as per the World Health Organisation (WHO) norms, stated a report by researchers of the University of Chicago and Harvard Kennedy School.

The report titled ‘A roadmap towards cleaning India’s air’ stated that Mumbai can increase the life expectancy up to 2.5 years if the PM2.5 levels, pollutant mostly arising from vehicular and industrial emissions are brought down to the WHO’s standard limit of annual average of PM2.5 level at 10 µg/m3.

More than 660 million Indians live in areas that exceed the Indian National Ambient Air Quality Standard (NAAQS) for fine particulate (PM2.5) pollution.

“Our research suggests that if India were to meet its own standards, life expectancy would increase by more than one year on average. Moreover, if India were to meet the WHO’s air quality standard, its people would live about four years longer on average,” read the report.

The report also highlighted that out of 13,200 pollution tests done of industries of Maharashtra, half of them were found to be exceeding the regulatory standard. The pollution tests were done between 2012 and 2018. However Maharashtra Pollution Control Board (MPCB) stated that all the new industries especially the power plants have been given stringent norms for compliance.

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