India accounts for 7 of the world’s 10 most polluted cities — with Gurugram ranked as the worst: Study

IANS

  • A recent study by Greenpeace has revealed that India ranks third on the world’s list of most polluted countries.
  • Seven of the world’s 10 most polluted cities are in India.
  • Globally, the alarming increase in air pollution is expected to cause 7 million premature deaths in the next year.
A new study has revealed that India accounts for seven of the 10 most polluted cities in the world, with Gurugram ranking as the worst in the world with highest level of pollutants.

Countrywise, India ranks third on the world ranking for highest PM 2.5 concentration, which are tiny particles believed to the most harmful for human health.

Gurugram, in the National Capital Region, is the most polluted city in India and the world — with an average air quality index at 135.8, recorded last year. Other Indian cities that rank in the top 10 list includes Ghaziabad, Faridabad, Bhiwadi, Noida, Patna, and Lucknow .

The report published by Greenpeace, India has highlighted that the alarming increase in air pollution may cause seven million premature deaths globally next year due to unequal distribution of PM 2.5 particles contributing to air pollution.

Overall, 64% of the 3,000 cities covered in the report surpassed the World Health Organisation (WHO) guidelines on PM2.5 exposure, which includes pollutants such as sulphate, nitrate and black carbon among others. These particles may also lead to lung and heart disorders.

This comes when India already has the most number of real-time data coverage centers, monitoring the air quality index around the country. It’s evident that in addition to monitoring, there is a pressing need to set pollution reduction targets and consumption caps on polluting fuels such as coal, petroleum and diesel in the most polluted areas.

Productivity losses from pollution covers nearly 8.5% of Gross Domestic Product (GDP) in India, as per the World Bank analysis. In fact, stubble burning contributing to pollution, has lead to economic loss of ₹ 2 trillion in India, annually.

Stressing on the world economy Yeb Sano, Executive Director of Greenpeace South East Asia said “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 in lost labour, and trillions in medical costs. This has enormous impacts, on our health and on our wallets.”

According to another report by Greenpeace on pollution, even if the country reduces PM10 levels that it targets to accomplish by 2024, India will still have 139 cities with hazardous pollution levels.

Here’s a list of the 10 most polluted cities across the globe:

  1. Gurugram, India
  2. Ghaziabad, India
  3. Faisalabad, Pakistan
  4. Faridabad, India
  5. Bhiwadi, India
  6. Noida, India
  7. Patna, India
  8. Lucknow, India
  9. Hotan,China
  10. Lahore, Pakistan
See also:
India's plan to fight air pollution has a flaw, says Greenpeace

Pollution aside, stubble burning may have cost India a loss of ₹2 trillion: Study
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