Air Pollution in India Rises by 13%: Report

According to new report by Greenpeace, air pollution levels in India have risen by 13 per cent in five years between 2010 and 2015.

India has only 39 monitoring stations in 23 cities to monitor air pollution. Compare this with China which has 1,500 stations in 900 cities and towns; the US with 770 stations in 540 cities and towns; and the EU with 1,000 stations in 400 cities and towns.

Unlike most other ambitious nations, India has failed to set a deadline for itself to meet its national air quality standards, which are much more relaxed than those set by the World Health Organisation (WHO).

Most cities are failing to meet these National Ambient Air Quality Standards (NAAQS) by a wide margin.

The capital Delhi, for example, has average PM10 concentrations of 268 µg/m3 — that are 4.5 times higher than the NAAQS, and a whopping 13 times higher than the annual limit set by WHO.

Delhi tops the list of the most polluted city but, it is followed closely by Ghaziabad, Allahabad, and Bareilly 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 200 µg/m3to 258 µg/m3.

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