The Link Between Rising Pollution Levels And Home-Buying
Those who like to keep themselves abreast of changes know air contamination kills about 6.5 million people each year while all forms of pollution cost the global economy an annual $4.6 trillion (estimates by Lancet Commission on Pollution and Health). Air pollution shortens the life expectancy of people by 6.3 years and only one in 10 people live in a city that complies with World Health Organization's air quality norms. A prospective homebuyer would think whether he should be buying a home in Delhi, notorious as one of the most polluted cities in the world? Should he be choosing Kolkata for a house address despite being aware of the fact that the city has a great deal of airborne ammonia? Should he be picking Tinsel Town Mumbai for a home even as the city is getting buried under a mountain of its own trash? Or should he be headed towards Chennai instead? But, were you not paying attention when television reports flooded your vision with ghastly flood scenes in the city recently, quickly a new question would pop its head out.
It is relevant to mention here that Mumbai and Delhi are also among the most expensive property markets in the world. Unlike cities in the West, rates of property have not seen many corrections despite a showdown in sales that played a spoilsport for real estate developers in the country who have been earning great profits before a lacklustre period took off in early 2014.
So, should you rather move out? Make no mistake. Most big cities that provide bright career options are not doing any better. If they are now, they once suffered the same fate. Before the environmental consciousness dawned upon the city of New York during the 1960s leading to the formation of the Environment Protection Agency, "you could touch the air in New York. It was that filthy. No sensible person would put a toe in most of the waterways" says a report by The New York Times. "It's worth reflecting that New York City before the E.P.A. and the movement it represented would be almost unrecognisable in 2017," the report adds.
UK capital London is another story altogether. One of every 12 deaths in the city is linked with air pollution. The state of affairs seemed so worrisome to Prince Charles that he made an accessory shift. The Price owns a set of “smog-free” cufflinks. The fact that London regularly records annual NO2 levels that are three times the EU's legal limit does not stop people from visiting the old city though. London's Oxford Street draws huge crowds all day, every day.
In December last year, Paris made all public transport free when the city witnessed its most serious surge in air pollution in a decade.
The powerful toxic often visible over the skies of Beijing has earned itself the name airpocalypse. The WHO guidelines state that PM2.5 should not exceed 25 micrograms per cubic meter in any given day; Beijing's smog is regularly 10 times that level.
What are we doing about it?
The toxic haze looming over the skies of Delhi do not only cause nausea, burning of eyes, headache and respiratory problems to those living here, it also lets a sinking feeling creep down your soul making you rethink your decision if you have been planning to buy a property in the region.
According to experts, in the prevailing pollution emergency in Delhi, newborns are at a very high risk of contracting breathing-related ailments and they are beginning their lives virtually as "smokers".
Not many of us would be willing to take that risk knowingly.