Air in most Indian cities hazardous: Greenpeace

The most polluted areas are spread across North India, starting from Rajasthan and then moving along the Indo-Gangetic belt to West Bengal

GN Bureau | January 11, 2017


#Delhi pollution   #health   #North India   #air quality   #greenpeace   #air pollution   #WHO  
Air in most Indian cities hazardous
Photo courtesy: SAFAR India

None of the Indian cities comply with standards prescribed by the World Health Organisation (WHO) said a Greenpeace report.
 
The report “Airpocalypse” assesses air quality in 168 cities across 24 states and union territories and pinpoints fossil fuels as one of the main culprits for the deteriorating air quality across the country.
 
It noted that very few cities in southern India comply with Central Pollution Control Board (CPCB) standards.
 
“Air pollution is a national public health crisis as almost none of the cities have bothered to keep air pollution in check, making them unlivable. We are facing an apocalypse right now due to unbreathable air. Deaths due to air pollution are only a fraction less than those due to use of tobacco yet authorities are laying a deaf ear to the numerous scientific reports that have set alarm bells ringing,” says Sunil Dahiya, campaigner, Greenpeace India.  
 
The top 20 most polluted cities have PM 10 levels between 268 µg/m3and 168 µg/m3 for the year 2015. While, Delhi tops the list with 268 µg/m3, it is followed closely by Ghaziabad, Allahabad, and Bareli in Uttar Pradesh; Faridabad in Haryana; Jharia in Jharkhand, Alwar in Rajasthan; Ranchi, Kusunda and Bastacola in Jharkhand; Kanpur in Uttar Pradesh, and Patna In Bihar; with PM10 levels ranging from 258 µg/m3to 200 µg/m3.
 
 
The Greenpeace report mentions the sources of pollution in several cities based on review of earlier research available. The most polluted cities are spread across the north India, starting from Rajasthan and then moving along the Indo-Gangetic belt to West Bengal. A closer analysis of the data obtained through RTI and previous studies on air pollution pinpoint to continued use of fossil fuels as the main culprit for the dangerous rise in the level of pollutants in the air across the country
 
Dahiya adds: “India’s pollution trends have been steadily increasing, with India overtaking China in number of deaths due to outdoor air pollution in 2015. India’s deteriorating air quality demands an urgent robust monitoring system.”
 
“This report clearly shows that air pollution is not restricted to Delhi. Thus, our pollution reduction strategies needs to be much more ambitious, systematic and with focused targets with clear timelines. Accountability and compliance mechanism should be in place, with no leniency towards the fossil fuel dependant sectors such as, power and transport,” said a press release.
 
Read the complete Greenpeace report ‘Airpocalypse’ 
 
 

 

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