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15 of world's top 20 most polluted cities in India

The report said, despite widespread air quality improvements during 2019 and 2020, air pollution in India is still dangerously high

Friday March 19, 2021 10:46 PM, ummid.com with inputs from IANS

Most Polluted Cities

New Delhi: A total of 15 of the world's top 20 most polluted cities (22 out of 30) are located in India, according to a report released on Tuesday.

The 'World Air Quality Report, 2020', prepared by Swiss organisation IQAir, also shows that Bangladesh, China, India, and Pakistan (in alphabetical order) account for 49 of the 50 of the most polluted cities worldwide.

"List of top 20 most polluted cities"

The most polluted Indian cities in the list are Ghaziabad, Bulandshahar, Bisrakh, Bhiwadi, Noida, Greater Noida, Kanpur, Lucknow, Delhi, Faridabad, Meerut, Jind, Hisar, Agra and Muzaffarnagar.

From around the world, the reported has also listed Hotan and Kashgar in China, Lahor and Bahawalpur in Pakistan, and Manikganj in Bangladesh among the top 20 most polluted cities of the world.

The report has also found Delhi as the most polluted capital city globally.

The report said India showed an overall improvement in several cities, with 63 per cent reporting direct improvements over 2019 averages.

However, the report added, the progress is only marginally attributable to India's flagship National Clean Air Programme (NCAP) introduced in January 2019, which targets PM2.5 reductions between 20-30 per cent in 122 selected cities by 2024 from a 2017 baseline.

The report said, despite widespread air quality improvements during 2019 and 2020, air pollution in India is still dangerously high.

"Major sources of pollution in India"

Major sources of India's air pollution include transportation, biomass burning for cooking, electricity generation, industry, construction, waste burning, and episodic agricultural burning.

Transportation constitutes one of India's leading PM2.5 emission sources, responsible for emitting pollutants and re-suspending road dust.

Biomass cookstoves are the main source of indoor pollution nationally, particularly affecting women and children, the report stated.

"Delhi, the world's second most populous city, is located southeast of India's agricultural breadbasket, where open burning is common," it added.

It is estimated that as much as 20 to 40 per cent of Delhi's air pollution originates from Punjab farm fires During peak burning season, Delhi experienced average PM2.5 levels in November and in December, which exceed the WHO's annual exposure guideline by more than 14 times.


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