The World Health Organization (WHO) has released a list of the world’s 15 most polluted cities. This list is very worrisome for every Indian because 14 names in this list are from Indian cities, in which Kanpur is on top and Delhi is at number six. This list of polluted cities is of 2016. By comparing the latest data from the old list, it shows that Delhi’s pollution levels improved only marginally between 2010 and 2014 but started worsening again in 2015.
These figures are so worrisome because most of the cities are of North India, including Patna, Lucknow especially from UP and Bihar. Alongwith Delhi, Faridabad’s condition is very poor in terms of pollution.
According to the WHO’s database, Delhi’s PM 2.5 annual average is 143 micrograms per cubic meter, more than three times the National Safe Standard. While the PM 10 average is 292 micrograms per cubic meter, ore than 4.5 times the national standard. The Central Pollution Control Board (CPCB) claims that air pollution levels improved in 2017 as compared to 2016. The board, however, hasn’t released the annual average PM 2.5 concentration for 2017 yet.
List of Polluted Cities
- Ali Subah Al-Salem (Kuwait)
At the end of 2016, the Central and State Governments took several steps to deal with air pollution. Graded Responses Action Plan (GRAP) in October, doubling of the environment compensation charge (ECC) on trucks in December 2015 and better coordination between the cities of NCR for pollution control. The WHO report, however, doesn’t reflect this because it considers annual PM 10 and PM 2.5 averages between 2010 and 2016.
Major sources of air pollution from particulate matter include inefficient use of energy by households, industry, agriculture and transport sectors, and coal-fired power plants. In some regions, sand and desert dust, waste burning and deforestation are additional sources of air pollution.