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AIR_which cities have the worst air

India has a number of cities suffering from air pollution. Delhi is just one of them.

March 25, 2017

India has a number of cities under the air pollution problem. Not all of them are the capital of this country.

WHO Global Urban Ambient Air Pollution Database

The WHO has compiled a list of cities in the world, and their PM10 and PM2.5 values available. Their reporting mechanism is commendable; they have even given the number of monitoring stations in the city, so as to take into consideration the chance of a bias. The reported values are mostly from 2012, though the current 2016 update includes data from 2014 & 2015 for some of the cities [Download Here].

The above graph is based on the earlier dataset. The cities on the graph were all within the top 50, when compiled for PM10 values. The list goes something like this:

10. Gwalior

12. Allahabad

17. Raipur

25. Delhi

26. Ludhiana

28. Kanpur

29. Khanna

31. Firozabad

32. Lucknow

34. Amritsar

35. Gobindgarh

38. Agra

42. Jodhpur

44. Dehradun

45. Jaipur

46. Howrah

47. Faridabad

All of these cities also happen to be present in one of the most polluted stretches in the world, something which we have talked about before.

Further, as happens in these cases, the data is often disputed.

A recent report has said that air quality levels are actually better than those of 2012; that could mean that all these values and rankings are moot, and that there has been an improvement.

Air quality is better now than in 2012

But then, came this. Take some time, and have a look here.

The State of Global Air

No time? Among other things, this report says:

since 1990 the absolute number of ozone-related deaths has risen at an alarming rate in India — by about 150 percent — while in China, some European nations and Russia, the number has remained stable.

[Washington Post]

The man at the helm of the Ministry of Environment, Forestry & Climate Change, Mr. Anil Madhav Dave, had this to say:

“Air pollution could be one of the triggering factors for respiratory ailments and associated diseases,” he said in a statement to Parliament, “However, there are no conclusive data available in the country to establish direct correlation between diseases and air pollution.”


Alright then! Here: this is a study which concluded that certain deaths were linked to the ozone levels in the specific city. An American report for an American city [See here].

If we are failing to even monitor the extent of air pollution in our towns and cities, how will we assess the impact on the health of their residents? Given the pathetic state of our infrastructure to assess air pollution, do we have any other option but to rely on studies like the State of Global Air report? []

Further, there are more damning studies too.

In a 2012 paper published in the Environment Science and Technology Journal, titled Increase in NOx emissions from Indian thermal power plants during 1996-2010: Unit-based inventories and multi-satellite observations, Zifeng Lu and David G. Streets, from the Argonne National Laboratory in the US, analysed NOx emissions from Indian thermal power plants over 1996 to 2010, and found that emissions increased at least 70% over this period.



About the author: Hitesh Shetty
Dreams of writing a bestseller and changing the world. When awake, tries to figure out how to do both. | Get Tech Addicted...
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