New Delhi: The cost of serious health consequences from pollution arising from Particulate Matter costs India around 3 per cent of its GDP, the Lok Sabha was informed today.
According to the World Bank Disaster Management and Climate Change Unit report titled “India – Diagnostic Assessment of Select Environmental Challenges”, the total damage because of environmental degradation amounts to Rs. 3.75 trillion, which is equivalent to around 5.7 percent of the country’s GDP.
In a written statement to the Parliament, Minister of State (Health and Family Welfare) Anupriya Patel stated that the Government is acting upon measures to control air pollution “by formulating environmental regulations, setting up of a monitoring network for assessment of ambient air quality and promoting cleaner production processes”.
The Minister further elaborated the steps taken by the Government to improve the air quality, which included:
a) Introduction of alternate fuels like gaseous fuel (CNG, LPG),
b) Implementation of Bharat Stage IV (BS-IV) norms in 63 select cities,
c) Promotion of public transport network of metro, buses, e-rickshaws, and
d) Phasing out of 15-year-old diesel vehicles in Delhi.
According to WHO, around 12.8 million people in the world are dying because of the unhealthy environment. A separate report claims that over 1.6 million people in India and China die every year due to increasing use of fossil fuels, particularly coal.