A report released by IQAir has revealed that the most polluted city in India is not Delhi but Biwadi in Rajasthan.
India’s air quality is seven times worse than the standards set by the World Health Organisation (WHO). The fifth Annual World Air Quality Report revealed that while New Delhi is the second most polluted capital city in the world, it is not the most polluted city in India.
The most polluted city in India in 2022 was Rajasthan’s Biwadi.
The city had an annual Particulate Matter 2.5 (PM2.5) level of 92.7, and nearly 60 per cent of cities in India surveyed for the report had pollution at nearly seven times the WHO standards.
The report has been released by IQAir, a swiss air quality technology company, which collected data from more than 30,000 air quality monitoring stations across 7,323 locations in 131 countries.
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India in 2022 had committed to resetting its National Clean Air Program targets with the aim of reducing particulate matter concentrations by 40 percent by 2026. However, the report also highlights policy decisions including the relaxation of environmental regulations for coal mines, allowing for increased production that drover particulate matter.
“It is clear that the air quality in India is in a dire state, and the government needs to take urgent action to reduce air pollution. Stricter regulations on industries and vehicles to reduce air pollution are the need of the hour. Additionally, investment in renewable energy in a decentralised manner should be a priority. Furthermore, the government should also invest in ‘real’ public transportation systems such as buses and suburban rail to reduce the number of vehicles on the roads,” Avinash Chanchal, campaign manager at Greenpeace India, said in a statement.
The top five most polluted countries in 2022 included Chad, Iraq, Pakistan, Bahrain, and Bangladesh. It found that the region of Central and South Asia was home to eight of the world’s ten cities with the worst air pollution.
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