Despite efforts to reduce air pollution, 14 of the world’s 20 most polluted cities are in India, a new report has revealed. With an average of 98.6 Particulate Matter (PM 2.5) concentration, Delhi topped the list of most polluted capital cities in the world, while Dhaka was the second-worst after Delhi.
Pakistan was the second-most-polluted country, while Afghanistan, India and Nepal were all in the top 10.
On the other hand, many Chinese cities, including the capital Beijing, have shown improvement and have dramatically improved their air quality in recent years.
‘In Beijing, it’s a priority — in China, when they say something, they do it, they put the resources in. In India, it’s just starting. People need to put more pressure on the government,’ said Yann Boquillod, AirVisual’s director of air quality monitoring.
According to data compiled in IQAir AirVisual’s 2019 World Air Quality Report, Ghaziabad topped the list of most polluted regional cities (110 PM2.5).
‘While pollution sources across the region vary, common contributors include transportation emissions, biomass burning for household cooking, open agricultural burning, industry, and coal combustion,’ the report said.
The report also made a note of the Indian government’s actions in curbing air pollution with the launch of the National Clean Air Programme (NCAP) to reduce PM2.5 and PM10 in 102 cities by 20-30 per cent by 2024 compared to 2017 levels.
However, these measures didn’t have a serious impact and more needs to be done, the report suggested. According to the World Health Organization, air pollution causes an estimated 7 million premature deaths a year globally