Out Of 100 Most Polluted Cities, 65 Are In India - This Is The Most Polluted City In India (No, It's Not New Delhi)

Shreya Bose

Shreya Bose

Jun 08, 2023

India is home to 14 of the top 20 most polluted cities in the world, according to the annual World Air Quality Report published by Swiss air quality technology company IQAir.

Out Of 100 Most Polluted Cities, 65 Are In India - This Is The Most Polluted City In India (No, It's Not New Delhi)

The standard

PM2.5 is the standard air quality indicator for IQAir’s World Air Quality Report.

PM2.5 refers to particulate matter that is less than 2.5 microns in diameter.

India was ranked eighth on the list of the most polluted countries in 2022, dropping three places from the previous year.

Higher than liberal standard

It reported an annual average PM2.5 concentration of 53.3 micrograms per cubic meter, which is more than 10 times the WHO’s recommended levels.

The average calculated by IQAir was also higher than the liberal standard of 40 μg/m3 set by India’s Central Pollution Control Board.

Chad, Iraq, Pakistan, Bahrain, and Bangladesh covered the top five in the list.

Delhi performance

India did poorly on the Air Pollution Index in 2022 despite improving three places from the previous year on the list of countries with worst air quality.

Delhi has been ranked the fourth most polluted Indian city and the second most polluted capital city globally, with an annual average PM2.5 concentration of 92.6 micrograms per cubic meter.

Bhiwandi is the most polluted city in India, as per this ranking.

The top 20 most polluted cities in the world

  1. Lahore, Pakistan
  2. Hotan, China
  3. Bhiwandi, India
  4. Delhi, India
  5. Peshawar, Pakistan
  6. Darbhanga, India
  7. Asopur, India
  8. N’Djamena, Chad
  9. New Delhi, India
  10. Patna, India
  11. Ghaziabad, India
  12. Dharuhera, India
  13. Baghdad, Iraq
  14. Chapra, India
  15. Muzaffarnagar, India
  16. Faisalabad, Pakistan
  17. Greater Noida, India
  18. Bahadurgarh, India
  19. Faridabad, India
  20. Muzzafarpur, India

Road transport sector responsible for air pollution 

Union minister Nitin Gadkari has earlier said the transport sector contributes to 40 per cent of the air pollution in the country.

Gadkari said 90 per cent of this contribution comes from the road transport sector.

“We (transport) are responsible for 40 per cent of air pollution in the country…as the transport minister, actually I am responsible for that,” Gadkari said, referring to the portfolio he handles.

Greener alternatives need of the hour

He cited the case of New Delhi which is grappling with air pollution woes.

He highlighted the need for greener fuel alternatives to be adopted by the industry to tackle the issue.

Shreya Bose
Shreya Bose
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