Delhi topped the list of most polluted capital cities in the world in 2019, according to a new report which also revealed that 21 of the world’s 30 most polluted cities are in India. According to the World Air Quality Report 2019 compiled by IQAir Air Visual, Ghaziabad is the most polluted city in the world, followed by Hotan in China, Gujranwala and Faisalabad in Pakistan and then Delhi in the fifth place.
21 Most Polluted Indian Cities
The 21 Indian cities which are in world’s 30 most polluted cities, in the order of their ranking, are, Ghaziabad, Delhi, Noida, Gurugram, Greater Noida, Bandhwari, Lucknow, Bulandshahr, Muzaffarnagar, Baghpat, Jind, Faridabad, Coraut, Bhiwadi, Patna, Palwal, Muzaffarpur, Hisar, Kutail, Jodhpur and Moradabad.
According to country-wise data, Bangladesh was top of the list, followed Pakistan, Mongolia and Afghanistan. India ranked fifth in the list.
The report has also mentioned that Indian cities have shown improvement from last year.
Whilst cities in India, on average, exceed the World Health Organisation (WHO) target for annual PM 2.5 exposure by 500 per cent, national air pollution decreased by 20 per cent from 2018 to 2019 with 98 per cent of the cities experiencing improvement.
PM 2.5 includes pollutants such as sulfate, nitrates and black carbon. Exposure to such particles has been linked to lung and heart disorders, and can impair cognitive and immune functions.
Air Pollution: A Silent Killer
Air pollution is considered as a silent killer as nearly seven million people are killed every year by air pollution. The gap in air quality data in large parts of the world poses a serious problem, as what is not measured cannot be managed.
Anti-Pollution Measures In Delhi
In Delhi, be it bypass roads, shutting down of Badarpur power plant, shifting the industries to PNG and BS VI mandate have had result in reduction of pollution levels on an annual average basis supported by favourable meteorological conditions in 2019 and an ongoing slowdown in marketplace, but latest World Air Quality Report is an indication that the steps taken are not sufficient.