India has unhealthiest air in the world amongst 132 countries ranked globally by scientists at Yale and Columbia Universities for the Environment Performance Index (EPI) 2012. India ranks last on the Air (effects on human health) parameter behind its neighbors in Asia including Pakistan, China, Bangladesh, and Nepal. India scored 3.71, and as per Anumita Roy Chowdhury, executive director of the Centre for Science and Environment, “It (the study) tells us that we are heading towards environmental hell to achieve high economic growth.”
Central Pollution Control Board (CPCB) chairperson S P Gautam had this to say. “Rising vehicular traffic and increasing industry in and around cities is the cause.” As per, Society of Indian Automobile Manufacturers, automobile production in India has doubled from 7 million units in the 2004 fiscal to 14 million+ units in 2010 because the Indian car market is now in a growth phase.
Vehicle exhaust in India has increased eight-fold in the last 20 years and industrial pollution four times. This contributes to over 90% of country’s air pollution. As per the planning commission’s 12th five year plan working group report on environment, “The economy has grown two and a half times over the past two decades but pollution control and civil services have not kept pace.” A report from US-based Health Effects Institute in 2010 stated that ‘air pollution killed 3,000 people in Delhi’. The nation’s capital has particulate matter 4 times above the standard set for India.