Once again India has won over the charts of being severely polluted and come out as a star in the stats of the world’s most polluted cities wherein 22 out of the top 30 are India’s cities.

Deaths from Air Pollution worldwide as per the stats
World Urban Forum launched the largest real-time air quality viewer in 2020

China, although leading the pollution index, is closely followed by Ghaziabad which is officially the world’s 2nd most polluted city now. Not a shocker since the condition has been worsening for quite some time, but to be among the top 30 is a position India seeks no pride in.

Delhi too is not average. Ranked as the world’s most polluted capital city, Delhi has made its place among the elite (with context to pollution index). 

World Air Quality Report, 2020

Prepared by a Swiss organization called IQAir, the report got released globally on 16th March, Tuesday, and has been trending ever since.

Top 15 cities among the world’s most polluted
Cities ranked from 16-30 among the most polluted in the world

Although Delhi has been ranked at a high level (for the wrong reason) by the organization, it was noted that the air quality of Delhi has improved about 15% from 2019. This leads us to believe that Delhi could have easily topped the chart had the air quality not improved for a significant period.

But standing at the 10th spot seems good enough, for any higher, and it would’ve been infamous. 

Read More: OpED: Does Delhi’s Air Pollution Take A Toll On The Mental Health Of Millennials?

Naming The 22 Cities

  • Ghaziabad,
  • Bulandshahar,
  • Bisrakh Jalalpur,
  • Noida,
  • Greater Noida,
  • Kanpur,
  • Lucknow,
  • Meerut,
  • Agra and Muzaffarnagar in Uttar Pradesh,
  • Delhi,
  • Bhiwari in Rajasthan,
  • Faridabad,
  • Jind,
  • Hisar,
  • Fatehabad,
  • Bandhwari,
  • Gurugram,
  • Yamunanagar,
  • Rohtak and Dharuhera in Haryana, and
  • Muzaffarpur in Bihar

The aforementioned are the top 22 cities of India that have their place reserved among the top 30 most polluted cities of the world. 

Xinjiang in China is the most prominent among all the cities in the whole wide world when it comes to pollution.

Air pollution in China, the leading polluted nation
Delhi’s air quality deteriorates to worse
Ghaziabad leading among all the polluted cities in India

Based on PM 2.5 data from 106 countries, the report is measured by ground-based monitoring stations. Government agencies manage most of the report per se. 

Causes Of The Increase In Pollution Levels

According to the report, the pandemic has played a humongous role in the acceleration of the global particulate pollution (PM 2.5) levels. 

Apart from that, the major causes of India’s air pollution have been transportation, biomass burning, electricity generation, industry, construction, waste burning, and, above all, agricultural burning.

“The transportation sector is one of the major contributors to India’s leading PM 2.5 emission sources across cities,” the report said.

Possible Solutions As Per Environmentalists

Avinash Chanchal, Climate Campaigner at Greenpeace India, commented that despite improvement in air quality over the last year, India’s air pollution remains severely affected and that too, for the worse. 

He further said that the government needs to bring about SDGs (Sustainable Development Goals) and push for clean energy sources to be incorporated. Low cost, active and carbon-neutral choices need to be prioritized by the cities for better and safer transportation as well.

Air Pollution and solution

“Speeding up the transition to clean energy and clean transport not only saves lives but also dramatically reduces healthcare-related costs,” Chanchal said.

The year 2020 brought an unexpected dip in air pollution. In 2021, we will likely see an increase in air pollution due to human activity, again. We hope this report will highlight that urgent action is both possible and necessary to combat air pollution, which remains the world’s greatest environmental health threat,” said the CEO of IQAir Frank Hammes.

Image Source: Google Images

Sources: Hindustan Times, NDTV, Tribune India, IQAir Report 2020

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