Gurugram Most Polluted City, Delhi Most Polluted Capital In The World: Greenpeace
In a recent report by Greenpeace, Delhi has topped the list of most polluted capital in the world. The data says Delhi had an average yearly PM 2.5 concentration at 113.5 micrograms per cubic metre. Second top position has been booked in the list by Bangladesh’s capital Dhaka with 97.1 micrograms per cubic metre and Kabul ranked third with 61.6 micrograms per cubic metre.
Greenpeace also revealed city-based data and the first position is again occupied by India with its two cities followed by Pakistan. Gurugram becomes the world’s most polluted city with an annual average PM 2.5 reading of 135.8 micrograms per cubic metre. Next comes Ghaziabad with 135.2 micrograms per cubic metre. Pakistan’s Faisalabad is on the third position from the top in the list with 130.4 micrograms per cubic metre.
However, Delhi is ranked 11th in the list. Apart from this, Faridabad, Bhiwadi, and Noida take the next three spots with average PM 2.5 readings of 129.1, 125.4 and 123.6 micrograms per cubic metre, respectively.
What are the standard permissible limits?
According to the National Ambient Air Quality Standards, the annual permissible limit for PM 2.5 is 40ug/m3. The annual permissible limits prescribed by the World Health Organization are even lower at 10ug/m3, says News18.
Greenpeace, in its report, warned the world against air pollution, which is likely to cause the death of an estimated seven million lives globally in the next year while costing the world’s economy nearly $225 billion.
“Air pollution steals our livelihoods and our futures, but we can change that. In addition to human lives lost, there’s an estimated global cost of 225 billion dollars in lost labour, and trillions in medical costs. This has enormous impacts, on our health and on our wallets,” says executive director of Greenpeace South East Asia, Yeb Sano.
However, the report says South Asia is in more danger as out of 20 most polluted cities in the world last year, 18 were in India, Pakistan, and Bangladesh. While China’s Beijing, which used to be considered as the most polluted city in the world, has shown remarkable improvement in air quality and ranked 122nd in the list.
“China’s skies remain grey but progress is impressive. Average concentrations in the cities in China fell by 12% from 2017 to 2018. Beijing ranks now as the 122nd most polluted city in the world, according to the AirVisual dataset, with PM 2.5 levels falling more than 40% since 2013. If Beijing’s PM 2.5 concentration had stayed at 2013 level, the city would rank as the 21st on the list in 2018,” reported Hindustan Times.
With this record, China has set a benchmark in the world, from which India can take a lesson which is much needed right now. To curb down the problem of poor air quality, the Indian Ministry of Environment and Forest has launched a programme called National Clean Air Programme (NCAP) in Jan 2019.
Greenpeace is an environmental NGO collaborate with IQ AirVisual, a software company that tracks pollution worldwide to study and analyse the list of most polluted city and capital of the world. The released report is based on air quality data collected in 2018 from public monitoring sources.