Heart attacks, asthma, respiratory diseases and cancer caused by air pollution kill at least 3,000 Delhiites every year. And those who live 500 metres of the two Ring Roads are the worst affected.
A yet-to-be-released study has found the presence of average 300 micrograms of respirable suspended particulate matter in each cubic meter area in the Capital — it gets worse in winters with up to 800 micrograms — against the national standard of 100 micrograms.
While the impact of air pollution is widely recognised, the study presented for the first time a figure of at least 3,000 deaths every year in the Capital. The total number of deaths per year in Delhi is one lakh.
The study also said 55% Delhiites, living within 500 metres of the two Ring Roads and 50 metres of major roads, were exposed most to pollution.
"They inhale emissions from vehicles or other sources," said Anumita Roy Choudhury, associate director with the Centre for Science and Environment (CSE).
Preliminary findings of the study done by US-based Health Effects Institute and Delhi-based The Energy Resources Institute were released at a seminar in Pune in January.