National capital, Delhi, for the fourth time ranks the most polluted capital in the world. The World Air Quality Report by IQAir says India’s air pollution worsened in 2021. This brings a stop to a three-year upward trend in air quality. The average level of air pollution, as measured by the fatal and minuscule PM2.5 particle is 58.1 micrograms per cubic metre, which is more than ten times the WHO’s air quality limits.

Delhi Ranks as The Most Populated Capital for The Fourth Time

For the fourth year in a row, Delhi is the world’s most polluted capital, with pollution up over 15% from the previous year. PM2.5 levels were nearly 20 times higher than WHO safety guidelines, with an annualized rate of 96.4 micrograms per cubic metre. The safe number is five.

Although Delhi’s air pollution is ranked fourth in the world, Bhiwadi, Rajasthan, is the most polluted city, followed by Ghaziabad, Uttar Pradesh, on Delhi’s eastern border. Ten of the top 15 most polluted cities in the world are in India, with the majority of them clustered around the country’s capital.

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Here is What the Report Said

“India continues to rank high among the world’s most polluted cities, with 35 of the top 50 most polluted cities located here. In 2021, India’s annual average PM2.5 levels hit 58.1 μg/m3, reversing a three-year upward trend in air quality,” the report said.

“India’s yearly PM2.5 averages, as recorded in 2019, have returned to pre-quarantine levels. Alarmingly, none of the Indian cities fulfilled the WHO requirements of 5 μg/m3 in 2021, it added.

Alarmingly, none of the Indian cities fulfilled the WHO requirements of 5 μg/m3 in 2021, it added.

The survey also indicated that 48 per cent of Indian cities have air quality levels exceeding 50 μg/m3, which is more than ten times the WHO standards.

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63 Most Polluted Cities Among the List of 100

Indian cities top the list of the 100 most polluted places, with 63. Haryana and Uttar Pradesh account for more than half of the total.

Vehicle emissions, coal-fired power plants, industrial waste, biomass combustion for cooking, and the building industry are all major causes of air pollution. Indeed, due to extreme levels of air pollution, many huge power facilities in the Delhi area, and several businesses, were shut down for the first time in November of last year.

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WHO’s Guidelines

The World Health Organization announced guidelines in September 2021 that reduced acceptable yearly PM2.5 exposure to 5 micrograms per cubic metre of air.

According to the report, Bangladesh’s air would be the most polluted in the world in 2021, with PM2.5 values of 76.9 micrograms per cubic metre. “Central and South Asia have some of the worst air quality in the world, with 46 of the world’s 50 most polluted cities,” the report claimed.

New Caledonia, a South Pacific Island nation, had the cleanest air (3.8), while Finland had the lowest PM2.5 values among wealthy countries (5.5).


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