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India 3rd most polluted after Bangladesh, Pakistan

Delhi worst capital | Air quality of Bihar’s Begusarai poorest among cities

India 3rd most polluted after Bangladesh, Pakistan


Tribune News Service

New Delhi, March 19

India emerged as the world’s third most polluted country in 2023, with neighbouring Bangladesh and Pakistan being the top two nations with poor air quality.

As per the World Air Quality Report by Swiss organisation IQAir, India with PM2.5 concentration of 54.4 micrograms per cubic metre (ug/m3), over 10 times more than the WHO prescribed limit of 5 ug/m3, had the third worst air quality out of 134 countries in 2023 after Bangladesh (79.9 ug/m3) and Pakistan (73.7 ug/m3).

In 2022, India was ranked eighth most polluted country with an average PM2.5 concentration of 53.3 ug/m3.

Indian cities dominate the global list of most polluted cities, with 12 of the top 15 cities located in the country. Bihar’s Begusarai with an average PM2.5 concentration of 118.9 ug/m3 was the world’s most polluted metropolitan area, while Delhi was identified as the capital city with the poorest air quality for the fourth time on the trot since 2018.

Begusarai did not even figure in the 2022 rankings. Delhi’s PM2.5 levels worsened from 89.1 ug/m3 in 2022 to 92.7 ug/m3 in 2023.

The spike in pollution levels pose significant health risks to an estimated 1.36 billion people living in the country, the report said.

“As climate change alters weather patterns, it can exacerbate air quality issues, with extreme heat events becoming more severe and frequent. It has also intensified pollen seasons, exacerbating allergic airway diseases like allergic rhinitis and asthma, especially when combined with exposure to PM2.5 pollutants,” said the report, which analysed air quality data from 7,812 cities in 134 countries, regions and territories.

“A clean, healthy and sustainable environment is a universal human right. In many parts of the world the lack of air quality data delays decisive action and perpetuates unnecessary human suffering. Air quality data saves lives. Where air quality is reported, action is taken, and air quality improves,” says Frank Hammes, Global CEO of IQAir.

The findings of the report are another wake-up call for cities in South Asia.

The report suggested investment in clean energy generation was vital to curbing pollution.

12 of 15 most polluted cities in India: report

  • India’s PM2.5 average was 54.4 ug/m3, 10 times more than the WHO prescribed limit of 5 ug/m3
  • The same was 53.3 ug/m3 in 2022, when India was ranked eighth most polluted country
  • Of top 15 cities with worst AQI, 12 in India; Bihar’s Begusarai most polluted city, Delhi capital
  • Burning fossil fuels turned out one of the biggest causes of air pollution, says IQAir report

About The Author

The Tribune News Service brings you the latest news, analysis and insights from the region, India and around the world. Follow the Tribune News Service for a wide-ranging coverage of events as they unfold, with perspective and clarity.

#Bangladesh #Bihar #Pakistan


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