In 2019, IQAir AirVisual and Greenpeace released a list of 20 of the most polluted cities across the globe and 15 Indian cities found a spot on it with Gurugram taking the most polluted city tag.
A year has passed since then and the latest numbers are in. IQAir AirVisual’s 2019 World Air Quality Report shows that out of the world’s 30 cities with worst air pollution, 21 are in India.
According to CNN, Ghaziabad is the world’s most polluted city with particulate matter (PM 2.5) concentration of 110.2. To put things in perspective, for air quality to be considered “good” the concentration per cubic meter should be below 12.
“While the coronavirus is dominating headlines, a silent killer is contributing to nearly seven million more deaths a year – that is air pollution. The gap in air quality data in large parts of the world poses a serious problem, as what is not measured cannot be managed.”
Country-wise data shows that the top 5 countries with “unhealthy” air quality are Bangladesh, Pakistan, Mongolia, Afghanistan, and India.
According to Business Today, even though the national air pollution levels decreased by 20% from 2018 to 2019, this was due to the economic slowdown and favorable weather conditions. No Indian city meets the World Health Organization (WHO) target of pollution.
This is deeply distressing and a wake-up call to all of us. Government, are you listening?