Coal kills: an assessment of death and disease caused by India’s dirtiest energy source

The first ever estimation of death and disease due to coal-fired power plants in India estimates between 85,000 to 115,000 people killed in 2011-12. Millions of cases of asthma and heart disease are also attributable to coal power emissions, with the worst affected areas being the dense population clusters of Delhi-Haryana, Kolkata-West Bengal and Mumbai. The cumulative cost to the public and government is estimated at between 3.3 and 4.6 billion dollars. Emission standards are completely absent for key pollutants such as suphur dioxide and nitrogen oxides and mercury. For particulate emissions, India's standards are much weaker than other major economies such as China, the EU, US or Australia. With the huge planned expansion in coal power, the toll from coal will increase manifold.