With the winter being welcomed in the city and Diwali festival beginning, it is severe to understand the intensity of rising pollution levels. Currently, India stands amongst the most polluted countries in the world and 11 out of top 15 & 7 out of the top 10 most polluted cities in the world are from India.
As per the estimates made by WHO, every year around 7 million people lost their lives due to health disorders caused by Air Pollution.
This is the list of the top 10 cities of India, which contribute the most in pollution.
As per the recent figures, Kanpur is the most polluted city of India. As per WHO recommendation, PM 2.5 up to 10 units mean air quality is fine. However, Kanpur being the hub for shoe industries and leather has PM 2.5 levels of 173 units, which is 17 times higher than the recommended ones. The leather and shoe factories in the city release high levels of chromium in the air. The PM 10 level in the city is 319 units.
The Industrial Hub of Haryana, Faridabad is the largest, most populated & most polluted city of Haryana and 2nd most polluted city of the country having PM 2.5 levels of 172 units and PM 10 levels of 316 units. The city has become the dirtiest one because of the pacing up of commercial constructions in the city. Also, with the immigration of people to work in the city, burning of crops, industrial pollution, and vehicular emission largely add to the polluting factor.
Situated at a distance from the religious city of Gaya, the holy city of Varanasi is located in Uttar Pradesh and was formerly known as Kashi or Banaras. The city is facing a serious problem of degrading air quality and has PM 2.5 levels of 151 units & PM 10 levels of 260 units.
One of the most worshipped places and the holiest city of India, Gaya is situated in Bihar and is one also most polluted Indian cities. With the increasing tourism in the city, unregulated construction has been taking place. Further, illegal mining is one of the major problems in the city. These are some of the main reasons for increasing air pollution in Gaya. With the average PM 2.5 level being 149 & PM 10 level being 275, Gaya’s air is reaching high levels of toxicity.
Another major city from Bihar, Patna is also amongst the most polluted cities of India with a PM 2.5 levels of 144 units and PM 10 levels of 266 units. The noisy & congested transportation in the city is the hub for high emissions. Suspended dust particles, vehicular emissions, smoke from the brick furnace are the main causes of a higher level of pollutions.
Delhi’s pollution is no news to anyone. Especially when the Diwali season is around, the air in the Delhi turns into dense grey smog. Formerly, Delhi was the most air polluted city in India for last 6 years. Currently, the average level of PM 2.5 remains serious at 143 with PM 10 levels of 292.
Lucknow, the capital city of Uttar Pradesh is one of the most polluted cities in the country. With the increase of the increasing population, the city of Nawabs is facing problems of burning garbage, traffic, and excessive construction work. The city has PM 2.5 levels of 138 & PM 10 levels of 255.
Known for the human-made marvel, the Taj Mahal & the Red Fort, Agra is known for its tourist attraction. With the heavy emissions coming from the factories, vehicle and households, Agra’s air quality has deteriorated over the years to reach an average PM 2.5 level of 131& Pm 10 level of 194.
Located in the Indo-Gangetic plains of Bihar, Muzaffarpur’s air is filled with road dust, open waste burning smoke, manufacturing industries & brick kilns emissions, as well as pollution from construction activities. The average level of PM 2.5 in Muzaffarpur was 120 with PM 10 levels of 221.
A major commercial hub of northern India and Delhi NCR, Gurgaon is housed major industries and corporate houses. It has been welcoming a large number of immigrants over the past few years and hence has been fallen prey to the deteriorating air quality. The average PM 2.5 levels of 120 & PM 10 levels of 124 makes the air toxic and hazardous.
Pollution is the major reason for a heart problem, lung diseases, respiratory infections, pneumonia, cancer, and insomnia. Considering the above, we should understand that our city may not be on the list of top 10, but we will also be facing similar problems soon. We need to understand our responsibility as a citizen of a city, a country and the planet as a whole.
Diwali is around the corner and there are a large number of fire-crackers. Just for a single day entertainment, we fill the lungs of our planet with toxic fumes, hazardous emission, in a way, creating a hellish atmosphere for ourselves.
This Diwali, avoid lighting any crackers make this planet worth living for all of us.
Have a Happy, Safe and a Green Diwali.
Author: Keshav Kothari
A young CA Aspirant who is a writer and a photographer with the zeal to convey a positive perception through his work.