Delhi is not just the centre of action when it comes to governance, as per the analysis of Central Pollution Control Board data, the city is also the capital of pollution.
Delhi Tops the List of Most Polluted Cities in PM 2.5 Level
With PM 2.5 levels more than double the safe limit and the third highest average PM10 concentration, Delhi was the most polluted city in India in 2022.
PM2.5 pollution in the national capital has reduced by over 7 per cent in four years, from 108 micrograms per cubic metre in 2019 to 99.71 micrograms per cubic metre in 2022, the report by NCAP Tracker said
NCAP Tracker is a joint project of news portal Carbon Copy and a Maharashtra-based start-up ‘Respirer Living Sciences’ and is designed to track India’s progress in achieving clean air targets.
In the light of reducing the PM2.5 and PM10 levels in 102 cities by 20 per cent to 30 per cent by 2024 (with 2017 being the base year), National Clean Air Programme was launched by Centre on January 10, 2019.
Some more cities were added to the list, while some were dropped subsequently.
Under the National Air Quality Monitoring Programme, 131 cities which are called non-attainment cities, as they did not meet the national ambient air quality standards (NAAQS) for the period of 2011-15.
As per the analysis of CPCB data, Delhi with 99.71 micrograms per cubic metre ranked first in the most polluted cities with respect to PM2.5 levels. Second and third in the list was Haryana’s Faridabad (95.64 micrograms per cubic metre) and Uttar Pradesh’s Ghaziabad (91.25 micrograms per cubic metre).
PM2.5 is tiny particulate matter that is less than 2.5 microns in diameter and can enter the lungs and bloodstream.
Ghaziabad Tops the List of Most Polluted Cities in PM 10 Level
Ghaziabad (217.57 micrograms per cubic metre) was the most polluted non-attainment city in the country in terms of PM10 levels, while Faridabad (215.39 micrograms per cubic metre) ranked second and Delhi (213.23 micrograms per cubic metre) stood third.
In 2021, Ghaziabad was the most polluted with respect to PM2.5 levels while it ranked third in terms of PM10 levels.
The country’s current annual average safe limits for PM2.5 and PM10 are 40 micrograms per cubic metre and 60 micrograms per cubic metre, respectively.