Polluting projects galore, lifespan shrinks rapidly!

Sep 25, 2023

Some reports say India will face a pollution-related disaster significantly impacting the average lifespan of citizens. Such a disaster may not be confined only to India and Indian cities. The entire humanity could be the victim of this man-made disaster. Another recent report says 100 crore people will die in the next century due to pollution alone. WHO estimates say that, every year, seven million people die prematurely because of air pollution.

The reports say that the average lifespan of Indians is falling by 5.3 years, with Delhites suffering the worst with 11 years lower life expectancy. Although Mumbai did not feature prominently in the report, the city couldn’t be safer. Unlike Delhi, besides pollution, Mumbai faces another disaster of faster land sinking because of the legacy of reclamation and filling the gaps of islands. Mumbai also is a notorious polluter after Delhi because of its staggering vehicle population and influx of polluting industries. The peripheries of Mumbai are the homes of a large chunk of the State’s polluting industrial complexes. Chemical zones and residential zones have no divide.  None has assessed the lethal impact of this because law enforcers and wanton law-breakers are friends. On the other side, there is a fast-rising passenger car density per kilometre that is five times Delhi’s car density, making the financial capital the most car-congested city in India. Last year, Mumbai car registration rose a quarter over the previous year.  

While the poor development plans multiply the impact of climate change, our unchecked greed contributes to the escalation of pollution. The government cannot curb this issue because the sale of polluting fuels and demand for high energy-consuming luxuries fill its coffin. We make our development visible by erecting concrete structures and building roads, cladding the soil surface with cement, a notorious polluter since its production stage.

We have increasing cases of respiratory diseases, lung cancers and heart ailments. The World Health Organisation (WHO) has explained how pollution kills people. Particles are found in the air, including dust, dirt, soot, smoke and liquid droplets. These are particulate matters that diesel vehicles and coal-fired power plants emit. People cannot easily feel inhalation of a particle with less than 10 micrometres, which can accumulate and lodge deeply into their respiratory system. 

The impact of pollution is far-reaching and has multiple-faceted consequences, surpassing the harm caused by smoking cigarettes or consuming alcohol. The permitted level of pollution from industrial units renders more than the trouble of passive smoking to which many people are victims of other’s sins. Instead of addressing the issue of pollution, the government believes that placing pollution sensors will solve the problem. The government continues to approve the construction of roads and highways, though there are enough.

India has the second longest road network in the world. Yet, the government sees it as insufficient and permits more projects near industrial areas and housing colonies. As this ensures negative implications on public health it is high time to prohibit all redundant constructions near industrial areas.

This report on reducing life expectancy is based on the most up-to-date data and the ongoing experiences of the population. The days ahead will surely see more polluting sources. What will happen five years down the line is everyone’s fear. The average lifespan will fall further in another 10 years. It seems the government is restricting the life of people on Earth as it focuses on meaningless developments at the cost of a clean environment. It deceives people with permission for new development projects, neglecting all environmental issues.