Indian cities top air pollution league

A new study has found that Indian cities are amongst the most polluted globally.

According to Swiss group IQAir, capital New Delhi was the most polluted, with an air quality index (AQI) figure of 407, putting it the “hazardous” category.

Mumbai came in sixth with an AQI of 157, while Kolkata in the east was seventh with an AQI of 154.

An AQI level of 400-500 impacts healthy people and is dangerous to those with existing diseases, while a level of 150-200 brings discomfort to people with asthma, lung and heart problems. Levels of 0-50 are considered good.

Mexico City was declared the cleanest city in the world as per the ranking after being placed in 100th position.

Coincidentally, the air pollution in parts of Dehli was 30 times the World Health Organization (WHO) prescribed limit, after people burst firecrackers across the city on Sunday night (12 November), the day of Deepavali, despite a ban on all forms of firecrackers, according to Delhi Pollution Control Committee (DPCC) data.

In the early hours of Monday (13 November), the air pollution was over 66 times the WHO limit in many places, but gradually came down.  

The overall air quality of Delhi was in the “very poor” category at 10 a.m. on Monday, up from “poor” level at 4 p.m. on Sunday, according to the Central Pollution Control Board (CPCB).

The city generally sees a spike in air pollution after Deepavali, as people defy the ban on firecrackers.