According to the latest urban air quality database released by World Health Organisation(WHO) on Thursday, Delhi does not have to bear the tag of world’s most polluted city.
The capital now ranks 11th among 3,000 cities in 103 countries in terms of PM 2.5 (fine particulate pollution) and 25th in terms of PM 10 (coarse pollution particles) levels.
Earlier in 2014, Delhi was ranked the most polluted city in the world, in which, WHO had monitored 1,600 cities. But the appalling fact is that four Indian cities are among the world’s 10 most polluted cities, and 10 out of 20 are also from India.
According to the database, Zabol in Iran is the most polluted city in the world. Gwalior and Allahabad are second and third in terms of PM 2.5, which is associated with more serious health impacts than PM 10. Patna and Raipur rank 6th and 7th. In WHO’s 2014 report, 13 out of 20 most polluted cities were in India.
For creating the database, WHO used data from various government and research organisations, which is based on ground measurements of annual mean concentrations of particulate matter (PM 10 and PM 2.5) . The study indicates that air pollution is rising at an alarming rate and it has grown eight per cent globally over a span of five years.
According to The Times Of India, Experts opined that Delhi’s effort to control air pollution may have resulted in the improvement in ranking. WHO in its statement also said urban air pollution levels were lowest in high-income countries, with lower levels most prevalent in Europe, the Americas, and the Western Pacific Region but highest in low-and middle-income countries in eastern Mediterranean and South-East Asia Regions, with annual mean levels often exceeding 5-10 times WHO limits.
Delhi’s annual PM 2.5 mean for 2013 (second half) is 122 micrograms per cubic metres according to WHO’s latest report compared to 153 micrograms per cubic metres as per WHO’s previous report. Delhi’s annual mean is about three times the Indian safe standard and 12 times the WHO standard of 10 micrograms per cubic metres reported The Times Of India.
The Logical Indian is pleased with the fact that Delhi is no more the world’s dirtiest city. But the fact that Indian cities take the most of the places in the top 20 is really an eye-opener. Not only the government, but everyone should come forward to make India less polluted. Poor urban air quality increases a possibility of a lot of health hazards in people. We should always strive to make our air cleaner.