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Last Updated : Nov 05, 2019 05:12 PM IST | Source: Moneycontrol.com

Study suggests reduction of life expectancy in Bihar due to bad air quality: Report

The study has also found that due to the poor quality of air, residents of Bihar might be losing 6.9 years on an average

Representative image
Representative image

Even as Delhi battles air pollution, condition of air quality in other states, such as Bihar, remains a cause for concern.

According to a study carried out by the Energy Policy Institute at the University of Chicago's Air Quality Life, residents of Bihar capital Patna could be losing 7.7 years of their life due to the bad quality of air.

According to a report by The Indian Express, the research team had conducted air quality analysis of various cities in the state from 1996 to 2016, and the findings of the study were then combined with the localised and global particulate measurements.

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The study has also found that due to the poor quality of air, residents of Bihar might be losing 6.9 years on an average. In 1998, according to the newspaper, the loss of life expectancy for residents of Patna was four years.

Life expectancy for smaller towns in the state, such as Siwan, Muzaffarpur, Gopalganj and Saran could be eight to nine years, the report states.

According to the newspaper, a team from the institute had recently visited Patna and expressed concern over deterioration in the air quality in Bihar.

"The Air Quality Life Index (AQLI) tool suggests that if particulate pollution levels in Bihar were permanently reduced to the WHO standard, the average person would live nearly seven years longer, on average," Dr Ken Lee, executive director of the institute said.

According to the newspaper, the World Health Organisation's guideline is 10 micrograms per cubic meter (µg/m3) and the national standards for India is 40 micrograms per cubic meter. The IE report states that potential gains in life expectancy are measured by lowering the PM2.5 concentrations to meet either the WHO guideline or nationally administered air quality standards.

Experts have stated that India has one of the weakest standards globally for PM2.5, which is an ultra-fine particulate.

According to the report, AQLI shows that Siwan is the most polluted town in Bihar, and people in the town could live 9.01 years longer if the WHO guidelines on air quality are met. Nine district headquarters, including Sheohar, Bhojpur, Buxar, Gopalganj, Siwan, Muzaffarpur and Vaishali have air quality worse than Patna, according to the report.

The five least polluted cities in Bihar, according to the report, are Kishanganj, Araria, Banka, Katihar and Purnia.

The study attains importance, since according to another study carried out by the Indian Institute of Technology (IIT) Delhi and Patna-based Centre for Environment and Energy Development, over 4,000 deaths occurred in Patna alone due to air pollution between the years 2000 and 2017.

Stating that transport and construction sectors are mainly responsible for pollution in Bihar, deputy chief minister Sushil Kumar Modi said that the government is also trying to create awareness regarding stubble burning and how "dry stubble can work as a compost".

"We are no longer giving licenses of brick kilns. In urban areas, no new license of auto-rickshaw is given. CNG has also been introduced. All new constructions are being done under green blanket cover," Sushil Modi said.

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First Published on Nov 5, 2019 05:12 pm
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