NHRC notice to Environment Ministry on air pollution impacting life expectancy

The rights panel has issued notice to the Secretary of the Union Ministry of Environment, Forest and Climate Change, seeking a report within four weeks.

The rights panel has issued notice to the Secretary of the Union Ministry of Environment, Forest and Climate Change, seeking a report within four weeks.

The National Human Rights Commission has issued a notice to the Union Environment Ministry over the impact of air pollution on the life expectancy of people, officials said on Friday.

In a statement, the NHRC said it has taken motu cognizance of media reports quoting a survey that air pollution is a great threat to human health in India, reducing overall life expectancy by five years and 9.7 years for the people in Delhi.

The rights panel has observed that the contents of the media reports, if true, raise a serious issue of the right to life.

Accordingly, it has issued notice to the Secretary of the Union Ministry of Environment, Forest and Climate Change, seeking a report within four weeks, including the status of the National Clean Air Program, launched in 2019.

The commission also expects the state authorities to take the issue with utmost sincerity in a time-bound manner, the statement said.

According to a media report on June 15, the residents in Delhi would gain 10 years of life expectancy on average if the annual average PM 2.5 levels did not exceed five micrograms per cubic meter as per WHO standards.

The report has further categorized Uttar Pradesh, Bihar, Haryana, and Tripura among the top polluted States, the NHRC said.

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