NEW DELHI: Delhi remains the most polluted capital across the world in 2018, as per a study conducted by the environment NGO Greenpeace. Also, India still hosts 15 out of 20 most polluted cities in the world with Gurugram and Ghaziabad being the most polluted cities in the world followed by Faridabad, Bhiwadi and Noida being in top six with Delhi on the 11th spot.
Air pollution will take an estimated seven million lives globally in the next year, while costing the world’s economy nearly 225 billion USD, the Greenpeace said. The IQAir AirVisual 2018 World Air Quality Report reveals that in South Asia, out of 20 most polluted cities in the world, 18 are in India, Pakistan and Bangladesh. The data also highlights that Beijing, once among the most polluted cities in the world, is still at least five times more polluted than the WHO annual safety limits of 10 µg/m3.
PM2.5 refers to particulate matter (ambient airborne particles) measuring up to 2.5 microns in size, and has a range of chemical makeups and sources. It is widely regarded as the pollutant with the most health impact of all commonly measured air pollutants. Due to its small size, PM2.5 is able to penetrate deep into the human body, causing a wide range of health effects.
“The report is a reminder to us indicating that our efforts and actions to reduce the invisible killer, i.e., air pollution, are not enough and we need to do much more than already planned and done,” said Pujarini Sen of Greenpeace India. “If we want India to breathe clean air, it’s high time that our plans such as NCAP, GRAP, CAP etc. become much more stringent, aggressive, legally binding and most of all implementable at ground rather than being just used a political statement without much happening at ground.”