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India: ‘Plant trees as much as possible’ – Delhi residents demand actions to combat air pollution as study reveals 11.9-year reduction in life expectancy

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Residents of New Delhi expressed their concerns on Wednesday about the recent increase in air pollution in the city, often labelled the most polluted city in the world.

One resident, Rashmi, emphasized the importance of controlling pollution levels from vehicles and regulating other sources of pollution, such as waste and garbage.

« We should regularise that because that is also polluting the environment and we should plant as much as trees possible, » Rashmi added.

According to a study conducted by the Energy Policy Institute at the University of Chicago, if the current pollution levels in Delhi exceed the limits set by the World Health Organisation, standards of 5 micrograms per cubic meter (µg/m3), residents could potentially lose 11.9 years of their lives.

Another resident, Dhananjay Kattariya, highlighted how the city’s greenery has changed significantly, especially during the COVID-19 pandemic.

« Now I don’t feel the same and I think the personal initiative for every individual across the nation is that we should plant trees as much as we can, » Dhananjay Kattariya, a resident of nearby Gurugram.

Overall, the residents’ suggestions and concerns reflected the urgent need to address air pollution in Delhi, with a particular focus on reducing vehicle emissions, regulating waste management, and prioritizing tree-planting initiatives.

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