As many as eight Indian cities have made it to the list of top 10 polluted cities in Asia, including the National Capital Region (NCR).
As per the data released by World Air Quality Index, eight Indian cities are in the list of top 10 worst air quality regions in Asia, while only one city (Rajamahendravaram in Andhra Pradesh) managed to feature in the list of top 10 best air quality stations.
Gurugram made it to the top of the list with an air quality index (AQI) of 679 on Sunday morning, which was followed by Dharuhera town near Rewari with an AQI of 543 and Muzaffarpur in Bihar with AQI of 316. It is noteworthy that Delhi has managed to get off of the list.
Other cities that come on the list are Talkator, Lucknow (AQI 298), DRCC Anandpur, Begusarai (AQI 269), Bhopal Chauraha, Dewas (AQI 266), Khadakpada, Kalyan (AQI 256), Darshan Nagar and Chhapra (AQI 239).
Apart from Indian cities, China’s Xiaoshishang Port in Luzhou (AQI 262) is also in the list of stations with worse air quality. Bayankhoshuu in Mangolia’s Ulaanbaata also featured in the list.
AQI from 0 to 50 is considered good, from 51 to 100 it is considered moderate, from 101 to 150 as unhealthy for sensitive groups, from 151 to 200 as unhealthy for all groups, from 201 to 300 as very unhealthy and from 301 to 500 it is deemed hazardous for human health.
The World Air Quality Index, started in 2007, is a project to promote air pollution awareness for citizens and help them with unified and world-wide air quality information.
During Diwali, the air quality index witnesses a tremendous rise due to firecrackers bursting, reaching hazardous levels in several cities of India, including Delhi-NCR. Stubble burning also contributes to a spike in pollution levels.
Meanwhile, AQI has already dipped to ‘poor’ category and is expected to drop further into the severe category in Delhi-NCR after Diwali.
The sub-committee of the Commission of Air Quality Management (CAQM) has enforced Stage II measures of the Graded Response Action Plan (GRAP) in Delhi-NCR with a 12-point action plan.
Futhermore, Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal had also announced a 15-point Winter Action Plan to combat air pollution and said that air pollution due to stubble burning remains a top concern at this time of the year.