According to the survey World Health Organization (WHO), Gwalior in Madhya Pradesh, Allahabad in Uttar Pradesh, Patna in Bihar and Raipur in Chhattisgarh have higher levels of air pollution. India’s capital New Delhi is the ninth worst city, measured by the amount of particulate matter under 2.5 micro-grams found in every cubic metre of air, with an annual average PM 2.5 measurement of 122. New Delhi was ranked worst in 2014 with a PM 2.5 reading of 153. The WHO experts acknowledge that India has 4 most polluted cities, but along with this it also says that India faces a “huge challenge”, as several other countries are so bad that they have no monitoring system and cannot be included in its ranking.
According to Maria Neira, head of public health, environmental and social determinants of health at the WHO, “The WHO database has almost doubled in size since 2014, and the trend towards more transparency translated in to more action to deal with the problem”.
The WHO report says more than 7 million premature deaths occur every year due to air pollution, 3 million of them due to outdoor air quality. Survey cites at the common causes of air pollution which include too many cars, especially diesel-fueled vehicles, the heating and cooling of big buildings, waste management, agriculture and the use of coal or diesel generators for power. The WHO data, a survey of 3,000 urban areas, shows only 2% of cities in poorer countries have air quality that meets WHO standards, while 44% of richer cities do.
Zabol in Irancis is the dirtiest with PM 2.5 measure of 217.