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India Had 12 Of 15 Most Polluted Cities In Central And South Asia In 2022: Report

The report by Swiss firm IQAir stated that roughly 60 per cent of cities in India included in the report experienced annual PM2.5 levels at least seven times higher than the WHO guideline

India Had 12 Of 15 Most Polluted Cities In Central And South Asia In 2022: Report
The transportation sector's contribution to PM2.5 varies from 20 to 35 per cent across Indian cities

New Delhi: Twelve of the 15 most polluted cities in the Central and South Asia in 2022 were in India with Bhiwadi being the most polluted city in the country, according to a new report. According to the report by Swiss firm IQAir released on Tuesday (March 14), India’s annual average PM2.5 level in 2022 was 53.3 μg/m3, slightly lower than the 2021 average of 58.1. Last year, 12 of the 15 most polluted cities in the Central and South Asia were in India with Bhiwadi being the most polluted city in the country at an annual PM2.5 levels of 92.7 μg/m3.

The report also stated that roughly 60 per cent of cities in India included in this report experienced annual PM2.5 levels of at least seven times higher than the WHO guideline.

The transportation sector’s contribution to PM2.5 varies from 20 to 35 per cent across Indian cities.

Also Read: 39 Of World’s 50 Most Polluted Cities Are In India: World Air Quality Report

The report noted that stubble (crop residue) burning is also an important challenge in the region but is an episodic phenomenon confined to a few areas, including Delhi.

In 2022, India relaxed environmental compliance rules for coal mines which allowed for increased production in response to power outages exacerbated by extreme heatwaves.

In November, steam coal/thermal coal imports hit a 10-month low and total coal production increased 11.7 per cent to 75.9 million tons.

The report said air quality monitoring has increased over the past years in India, but the country still lacks the ability to track the progress of reduction strategies through an effective and reliable emissions inventory.

A comprehensive national emission database is critical in determining sectoral emission reductions needed to meet the targeted 40 per cent reduction in particulate concentrations by 2026 outlined in the National Clean Air Programme (NCAP), the report said.

The ability to attribute emissions to their respective sources is necessary to monitor the progress of emissions-lowering initiatives, it said.

Also Read: Air Pollution: How Effective Has National Clean Air Programme Been In Improving Air Quality?

(This story has not been edited by NDTV staff and is published from a syndicated feed.)

NDTV – Dettol have been working towards a clean and healthy India since 2014 via the Banega Swachh India initiative, which is helmed by Campaign Ambassador Amitabh Bachchan. The campaign aims to highlight the inter-dependency of humans and the environment, and of humans on one another with the focus on One Health, One Planet, One Future – Leaving No One Behind. It stresses on the need to take care of, and consider, everyone’s health in India – especially vulnerable communities – the LGBTQ populationindigenous people, India’s different tribes, ethnic and linguistic minorities, people with disabilities, migrants, geographically remote populations, gender and sexual minorities. In wake of the current COVID-19 pandemic, the need for WASH (WaterSanitation and Hygiene) is reaffirmed as handwashing is one of the ways to prevent Coronavirus infection and other diseases. The campaign will continue to raise awareness on the same along with focussing on the importance of nutrition and healthcare for women and children, fight malnutrition, mental wellbeing, self care, science and health, adolescent health & gender awareness. Along with the health of people, the campaign has realised the need to also take care of the health of the eco-system. Our environment is fragile due to human activity, which is not only over-exploiting available resources, but also generating immense pollution as a result of using and extracting those resources. The imbalance has also led to immense biodiversity loss that has caused one of the biggest threats to human survival – climate change. It has now been described as a “code red for humanity.” The campaign will continue to cover issues like air pollutionwaste managementplastic banmanual scavenging and sanitation workers and menstrual hygiene. Banega Swasth India will also be taking forward the dream of Swasth Bharat, the campaign feels that only a Swachh or clean India where toilets are used and open defecation free (ODF) status achieved as part of the Swachh Bharat Abhiyan launched by Prime Minister Narendra Modi in 2014, can eradicate diseases like diahorrea and the country can become a Swasth or healthy India.

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