Air quality in nine cities of Telangana severely polluted, says Greenpeace India

While Jharia in Jharkhand topped the list of the most polluted, Mizoram’s Lunglei is the least polluted city in India.
Representational image (Express Illustration)
Representational image (Express Illustration)

HYDERABAD:  A recent report by Greenpeace India, has again flagged the issue of air pollution in the State. According to the report, in Telangana, there are nine cities that were found severely polluted, with annual Particulate Matter (PM10) value in 2018 greater than the national limit of 60 micrograms set under the National Ambient Air Quality Standards (NAAQS). 

PM 10 is a fine pollutant of 10 micrometre diameter or less, which is roughly one-tenth the size of a human hair. It can reach the lungs and trigger a range of respiro-cardiac diseases. According to NAAQS, the PM10 levels set for industrial, residential, rural and other cities in India over a 24-hour period is 100 µg/m3 (micrograms per cubic metre air) and the average over a year is 60 µg/m3. 

The fourth edition of Greenpeace’s report, Airpocalypse, which was released on Tuesday, analysied air pollution in 287 Indian cities which have more than 52 monitoring days of data in 2018 under the National Ambient Air Quality Monitoring Programme (NAMP). Of the total cities, 231 cities, including nine in Telangana were found severely polluted, with PM10 levels exceeding the limits. 

Coal-belching Jharia in Jharkhand topped the list of the most polluted city in India. Kothur, Hyderabad, Ramagundam, Karimnagar, Warangal, Khammam, Sangareddy, Patencheru and Adilabad in Telangana have air pollution levels higher than the limits set by NAAQS. Of the 11 cities in Telangana, Nalagonada and Nizamabad are just on the border line. In Andhra Pradesh, six cities have pollution levels slightly higher than the NAAQS limits. Meanwhile, Mizoram’s Lunglei ranked last, thus the least polluted, said the report. 

Need to expand NCAP list

The report also suggest the need to add more cities in the non-attainment cities under the National Clean Air Programme (NCAP) initiated by government of India. Non-attainment cities are cities that don’t meet the pollution guidelines as per the Ambient Air Quality India (2011-2015) report and the World Health Organisation report 2014-2018. The NCAP has recognised 102 cities as non-attainment cities which needed to take efforts to address the air pollution levels.

Additionally, Central Pollution Control Board (CPCB) has also submitted the names of 20 more cities to be added to the existing list, taking the tally to 122. However, as per the report, around 200 Indian cities apart from the 102 cities listed in the NCAP are severely polluted, thus indicating the need to expand the list of non-attainment cities under the NCAP.

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