Air pollution has always been a concern in India. With climatic changes and an increase in global warming in the recent past, the authorities must look for eco-friendly ways to live a sustainable life. India, a leading country in coal-based power generation, has been highly affected due to this. In the latest World Air Quality Report issued by IQAir of Switzerland, India has been ranked 5th in the list of most polluted countries in the world. This report is based on the amount of PM2.5 concentration in the air last year. But which are the most polluted cities in India? Let us find out.
Most Polluted Cities in India
The most common reasons for pollution in India are coal-based power generation, mass-scale operation of disordered industries adhering to negligible levels of environmental measures, agricultural and automotive emissions, and an abrupt rich-to-poor divide. The severe air quality in India has put the health and lives of 1.3 crore Indians at risk. Even though the national air pollution quality has improved by 20% compared to last year, the annual exposure to PM2.5 (Particulate matter) exceeded the WHO recommended standards by 500%. It is even scary thinking about the quality of the air we breathe every day. India has been ranked 5th most polluted country in the world after Bangladesh (83.3), Pakistan (65.8), Mongolia (62.0), and Afghanistan (58.8).
Of all list of top 30 most polluted cities, 21 Indian cities have secured a position. Most of these cities have the presence of manufacturing and IT companies. This is a threat to the lives of all the citizens residing in these most polluted cities in India. The report indicates that open burning agricultural practices and wildfires have had a major impact on the quality of air. Farmlands of Punjab and Haryana practice crop burning regularly. Let us see the most polluted cities in India as given by IQAir of Switzerland.
Moradabad is a city in the state of Uttar Pradesh. It has an area of 149 km sq and is elevated at 198 meters. It has a population of over 9 lakhs. The average μg/m3 (micrograms per cubic meter) recorded is 76.5.
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The second-largest city of Rajasthan, Jodhpur is elevated at 231 meters. It is spread across 214.5 km sq. It is located on a rocky outcrop with forts that walls the city. Most buildings are painted in shades of blue, which is the iconic color of the city. The average μg/m3 recorded is 77.2.
Kutail a village in Haryana has made it to the list of the top polluted Indian cities. It is spread across 1734 hectares with about 9,500 residents. There are around 1,860 houses in the village. Even after this small number, the average μg/m3 recorded is 80.4.
Hisar is a city in northwestern India state Haryana. It is elevated at 215 meters. The city has a population of over 3.01 lakhs. Hisar is also the administrative headquarters of the Hisar district. It has recorded an average μg/m3 of 81.
Muzaffarpur is a city located in the Tirhut region of Bihar. It is also the headquarters of the Tirhut division, the Muzaffarpur district, and the Muzaffarpur Railway District. The city is spread across 93 km sq. Muzaffarpur is the fourth populated city of Bihar. The average μg/m3 recorded is 81.2.
Palwal is a city in the state of Haryana. It is a center for the cotton trade. The city is elevated at 100 meters. Even though it is a small city, the average quality of air recorded is 82.1 μg/m3.
Patna is an ancient city in the state of Bihar. It is also the capital of the state. There are many famous colleges and universities in Patna. The city is elevated at 53 meters and spread across an area of 136 km sq. The quality of air recorded on average is 82.1 μg/m3.
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A city of the Alwar district, Bhiwadi is located in Rajasthan. It is known as the industrial hub of the state. Bhiwadi has a population of more than 1.05 lakhs. It has recorded an average μg/m3 of 83.5 in the year.
Coraut is a city in the state of Uttar Pradesh. It is located near Varanasi. It has recorded an average μg/m3 of 85.
Faridabad is one of the most populous cities in the state of Haryana. It is situated in the National Capital Region bordering New Delhi, the capital of India. It is spread across 742.9 km sq and has a population of more than 14 lakhs. The quality of air recorded on average is 85 μg/m3.
Jind is one of the most ancient and largest cities of Haryana. The city is elevated at 227 meters and has a population of more than 1.68 lakhs. It is a religious and tourist spot with destinations like Rani Talab, Pandu-Pindara, and Ramrai. Holy baths are conducted during Amavasya. But it is one of the most polluted cities in India. It has recorded an average μg/m3 of 85.4.
Bagpat is located in Uttar Pradesh and is elevated at 253 meters. The city has a population of more than 50,310 residents. The quality of air recorded on average is 88.6 μg/m3.
Muzaffarnagar is one of the most polluted Indian cities. It is located in Uttar Pradesh and is the headquarters of the Muzaffarnagar district. It spreads across 204.8 km sq and the elevation is 248 meters. Muzaffarnagar has a population of more than 4.96 lakhs. The average μg/m3 recorded is 89.1.
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Yet another city from Uttar Pradesh, Bulandshahr is the headquarters of the Bulandshahr district. It is a part of the Delhi National Capital Region. The city is spread across 18km sq and has an elevation of 19 meters. The population crosses 2.35 lakhs. The average μg/m3 recorded in the quality of the air is 89.4.
Lucknow, the capital of Uttar Pradesh, is a large city in the north of India. It is spread across 349 km sq. The population of the city crosses 28.2 lakhs. The quality of air recorded on average is 90.3 μg/m3.
Bandhwari is a small village in the Gurgaon district of Haryana. The air quality of this village recorded 90.5 μg/m3 which is very poor for such a small village.
5. Greater Noida
Greater Noida is a city located in the Gautam Budh Nagar district of Uttar Pradesh. It forms a part of the National Capital Region of India. It has a population of 1.08 lakhs and more. The quality of air recorded is 91.3 μg/m3
Gurugram is a city in Haryana which is located just southwest of New Delhi. It is known as the technology and financial hub. The city spreads across 732 km sq. It has a population of more than 8.77 lakhs. The average μg/m3 recorded in the air is 93.1.
Noida, located in Uttar Pradesh is a very planned city. It is spread across 203 km sq and has a population of more than 6.37 lakhs. Noida is in the 3rd position in the list of most polluted cities in India. The quality of air recorded here is 97.7 μg/m3
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Delhi is the Indian capital with a lot of ancient and historic monuments and tourist spots. It is a large city spread across 1484 km sq and has a population of more than 109 crores. Delhi is one of the worst Indian cities to live in. It is the 2nd most polluted city and also has a place in the dirtiest cities in India. It has recorded 98.6 μg/m3 in its air.
Ghaziabad, a city in Uttar Pradesh, is one of the most polluted cities in India. In fact, it is the most polluted city in the world. It is the largest city in Uttar Pradesh with a population of 17.29 lakhs and more residents. The city spreads across 210 km sq. The air of Ghaziabad has recorded 110.2 μg/m3 in the past year.
India is suffering like Brazil was 20-25 years ago. India should learn from them and make sure to not suffer as they did. Take action and avoid mortality. Learning from them can be an advantage to the country. We must understand how important the health of the citizens is. We must find alternative sources of energy that do not cause much pollution and also aid in living a sustainable life.