If India reduces particulate pollution by 25 per cent in five years, residents breathing the most polluted air in New Delhi and parts of Uttar Pradesh could live almost three years longer, a study said on Tuesday.
The study titled “The Potential Benefits of India’s ‘War Against Pollution’ — Longer Lives”, was conducted by the Air Quality Life Index (AQLI), which translates particulate air pollution into its impact on life expectancy.
“The payoffs from the successful implementation of the National Clean Air Programme (NCAP) could be substantial with people in the most polluted areas like Delhi living almost three years longer,” Michael Greenstone, who created the index along with his colleagues at the Energy Policy Institute at the University of Chicago (EPIC), said.
“For this reason, NCAP has the potential to become a historic and watershed moment in Indian environmental policy.”
The AQLI study revealed that if India reduced particulate pollution by 25 per cent, people in Kanpur would also live 2.4 years longer and, in Kolkata for 1.1 years more.
On January 10, Union Environment Minister Harsh Vardhan launched the NCAP which aims to reduce particulate pollution by 20-30 per cent by 2024.
It began immediately through a combination of 102 city-specific pollution reduction plans and national initiatives.
The residents living in the 102 cities singled out by the NCAP for having higher pollution levels than the national average would add 1.4 years to their lives, the study said.
Developed by the University of Chicago’s Milton Friedman Professor in Economics Michael Greenstone and his team at the Energy Policy Institute at the University of Chicago, the AQLI is rooted in recent research that quantifies the causal relationship between long-term human exposure to air pollution and life expectancy.
The index then combines this research with hyper-localized, global particulate measurements, yielding unprecedented insight into the true cost of particulate pollution in communities around the world. (IANS)
"If the food is surplus due to lower turnout of the guest and resultant less consumption, then it shall be the responsibility of organiser of the social function to remove that food from the social function site, immediately after the completion of the duration of that social function," it says.
The Delhi government has drafted a policy to keep a check on the wastage of food at social functions in the national capital.
All organisers and caterers will have to register themselves with NGOs to manage the surplus and leftover food for distribution among the underprivileged, says the draft policy.
“The caterer should make proper arrangements to handover fresh surplus and leftover food to these NGOs,” reads the Draft ‘Policy for Holding Social Functions in Hotels, Motels and Low-Density Residential Area (LDRA) in National Capital Territory of Delhi’.
According to the draft policy, the owner, organiser, and the caterer must have the necessary permissions including FSSAI license from Delhi’s Department of Food Safety, Ministry of Health and Family Welfare to run their kitchens or to sell or serve prepared food for the guest and the consumer.
“They should be registered with some NGO to manage surplus/leftover food by distributing the same among underprivileged. The caterer should make proper arrangements to handover fresh surplus and leftover food to these NGOs.
The food preparation should be according to the ceiling of the number of guests as per prescribed capacity of the motel and LDRA. The number of guests cannot exceed the guest limit approved by the Urban Local Body (ULB) for that function site, it says.
“If the food is surplus due to lower turnout of the guest and resultant less consumption, then it shall be the responsibility of organiser of the social function to remove that food from the social function site, immediately after the completion of the duration of that social function,” it says.
The Commissioner Food Safety shall ensure that the above conditions are strictly followed; any violation thereof would invite action from the deployed officers by the Commissioner Food Safety, the draft policy reads.
The rules will be enforced by periodical inspections, which shall be conducted by officers of various state stakeholder agencies.
“Further, officers of respective ULB will conduct random or complaint-based inspection. The violations would be noted with proofs by the inspecting officers without the disrupting the function. In the event of violation of any of the conditions, the penalty would be imposed against violators under specific act/rules/orders.”
“The capacity of the space should be determined by multiplying the total number of car parking available by four or by means the number of persons obtained by dividing the gross floor area of the premises by occupant load factor at 1.5 sqm, whichever is less,” says the document.
It said adding that the total number of days on which a social function can be organised are restricted to 120 days in authorized/approved spaces.
The draft also said that motels and LDRA should be constructed as per sanctioned building plan.
“Minimum area of LDRA must be equals or more than 2.5 acres. Only such Motel and LDRA houses should be permitted to hold social functions which have proper access to the road from a main road (60 ft wide or more) and the LDRA should not be located at a road which ends in a dead end,” it said.
According to an official from the government, the decision to formulate a comprehensive policy regulating social functions was taken after the direction of the Supreme Court.
“Further, in view of Motel Policy of Ministry of Tourism 1995, policy for holding social functions in Farmhouses of Government of NCT of Delhi, Master Plan 2021(MPD 2021), amendments in MPD-2021 notified in 2013, a comprehensive policy was required to be drafted,” the official told IANS on the condition of anonymity.
The Chief Secretary has constituted a committee of four officers, including Principal Secretaries of Urban Development and Health, Chief Executive Officer, Delhi Jal Board and Member Secretary, Delhi Pollution Control Committee, to draft the policy.
“Accordingly, the committee after consultation with all stakeholders drafted the policy keeping in mind concerns of Environment Pollution (Prevention and Control) Authority (EPCA) and Supreme Court such as stop the use of perennially installed semi-permanent pandals, nuisance of parking on outside road of the venue, safety of guests and general public, stop the misuse of scarce resources like water and stop any kind of pollution or degradation of Environment,” the official said. (IANS)