The most number of premature deaths in India was because of pollution in 2015 at 2.51 million lives lost, followed by China at 1.8 million deaths, a recent study has revealed.
The findings of the study coincide with the festival of Diwali, which has been synonymous with smoke-choked air due to the rampant bursting of firecrackers across the country.
Diseases caused by pollution were responsible for an estimated 9 million premature deaths, 16% of all deaths worldwide, in 2015. This number was three times more than deaths from AIDS, tuberculosis, and malaria combined and 15 times more than from all wars and other forms of violence.
Citing the Health Effects Institute, the study said that among the world's 10 most populous countries in 2015, the largest increases in numbers of pollution-related deaths were seen in India and Bangladesh.
Despite the ban on crackers, air pollution was 18 times the healthy limit in some places and residents complained of eyes watering and aggravated coughs as levels of PM 2.5, tiny particulate matter that reaches deep into the lungs, rose alarmingly. The national capital ranks among the world's most polluted cities.