DELHI becomes’gas chamber’: The thick haze hanging over Delhi since Monday is not just a health risk. It’s an economic risk too. Air pollution can bring down productivity and prove expensive by increasing health costs. The measures to control pollution such as banning polluting vehicles and factories impact economy but so does the pollution.

The cost of pollution has been quantified by various global studies. A World Bank study released last year revealed that India lost more than 8.5% of its GDP in 2013 due to cost of increased welfare and lost labour due to air pollution. Air pollution has emerged as the deadliest form of pollution and the fourth leading risk factor for premature deaths worldwide. Those deaths cost the global economy about $225 billion in lost labor income in 2013

A study by the Indian Institute of Technology, Bombay, found that air pollution cost Mumbai and Delhi $10.66 billion (approximately Rs 70,000 crore) in 2015, or about 0.71% of the country’s GDP.

According to a recent study by British medical journal Lancet, pollution can bring down economic output by as much as 2 percent annually in less-developed countries.

The study says India tops the world in pollution-related deaths, accounting for 2.5 million of the total 9 million worldwide in 2015. The biggest increases in such related deaths have been recorded in India and Bangladesh. At 1.81 million, India tops the charts, with China second at 1.58 million.

Read more