NHRC notice to the Union Ministry of Environment, Forest and Climate Change on reported high air pollution impacting life expectancy in the country; expects States for a pro-active action to address the issue

New Delhi, 24th June, 2022

The National Human Rights Commission, NHRC, India takes a suo motu cognizance of media reports quoting an external survey that air pollution is a great threat to human health in India, reducing life expectancy overall by 5 years and 9.7 years for the people in Delhi.

The Commission has observed that the contents of the media reports, if true, raise a serious issue of Right to Life. Accordingly, it has issued notice to the Secretary, Union Ministry of Environment, Forest and Climate Change calling for a report in the matter within four weeks, including the status of the National Clean Air Program launched in 2019. The Commission has also expected the State authorities to take the issue with utmost sincerity in a time bound manner.

According to the media reports, carried on 15th June, 2022, the residents in Delhi would gain 10 years of life expectancy on average if annual average PM 2.5 levels did not exceed 5 micrograms per cubic metre, as per WHO standards. The report has further categorized U.P., Bihar, Haryana and Tripura amongst the top polluted Indian States.