Delhi has shown "signs of improvement" in terms of its ranking among most polluted cities in India. Though the national capital has shown some improvement in comparison with last two years, the prevalent pollution levels in the city still make it ‘3.5 times more polluted than the NAAQS and more than 11 times the WHO prescribed limits for PM10’, as per the latest report ‘Fourth version of Airpocalypse report’ released by Greenpeace India.
Among the 287 cities from where data was collected, Delhi is placed in the 10th position on the list of most polluted cities in India. Last year, the national capital was in the eighth spot on the same list.
The report identifies Jharkhand’s Jharia as the most polluted city in the entire country in terms of PM10. Neighbouring Dhanbad, the richest coal reserves in the country, is the second most polluted city in the country, as per the report.
As per the list, the 10 most polluted cities in the country are - Jharia, Dhanbad, Noida, Ghaziabad, Ahmedabad, Bareilly, Allahabad, Moradabad, Firozabad and Delhi.
Six of the 10 most polluted cities in the country are in Uttar Pradesh. They are Noida, Ghaziabad, Bareilly, Allahabad, Moradabad and Firozabad. Mizoram’s Lunglei has been considered as one of the least polluted.
The Greenpeace India report also said that more emphasis is required both on the regional and air-shed approach for air quality control.
"The city-level action plans provided by the non-attainment cities under NCAP also lacks regional and air-shed level approach and are too city-centric i.e, of course, vehicular emissions within the city are a part of the problem but the major emitters in the nearby regions should not be ignored," the report added.
Greenpeace India has further asked the Ministry of Environment, Forests and Climate Change (MoEFCC) to include all non-attainment cities under the fold of NCAP (National Clean Air Programme). The MoEFCC has released the first NCAP in January 2019. Under the NCAP scheme, the cities are expected to reduce air pollution levels by 20 to 30 per cent by 2024 from 2017 levels.