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India has 10 of the world’s 15 most polluted cities, Bhiwadi tops global pollution chart

New Delhi: India’s air pollution worsened in 2021, the World Air Quality Report released by Swiss firm IQAir has stated. The average air pollution, measured in the lethal and microscopic PM2.5 pollutant, is 58.1 micrograms per cubic meter, which is 10 times more than the World Health Organisation’s (WHO) air quality guidelines, the report said.

No city in India met the WHO standard, as per the report. Delhi has ranked as the world’s most polluted capital for the fourth consecutive year, with pollution rising almost 15 percent over the previous year.

Air pollution levels in India’s national capital were almost 20 times above the WHO’s safety limits, with PM2.5 clocking in at 96.4 micrograms per cubic meter for the annual average. The safe limit is 5.

While Delhi’s air pollution ranks at number four globally, the world’s most polluted place is Rajasthan’s Bhiwadi, followed by Uttar Pradesh’s Ghaziabad on Delhi’s eastern border, the report stated.

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Ten of the top 15 most polluted cities in the world are in India, mostly around the national capital. As many as 63 Indian cities dominate the list of 100 most polluted places, more than half located in Haryana and Uttar Pradesh.

An air quality ‘life index’ developed by the University of Chicago shows that residents in Delhi and Lucknow, for instance, could add about a decade to their life expectancy if air quality levels met WHO standards.

The major sources of air pollution have been found to be vehicular emission, coal-fired power plants, industrial waste, biomass combustion for cooking and the construction sector.

India Blooms News Service

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