Delhi tops the list of most polluted cities in India, according to a report released by Greenpeace India on Wednesday. The capital, with an annual average of PM 10 levels at 268 micrograms per cubic metre (µg/m³), was closely followed by Ghaziabad with 258 µg/m³ and Faridabad with 250 µg/m³.
Greenpeace India collated data through online reports and Right to Information applications from State Pollution Control Boards. The report, which assessed air quality in 168 cities, said none of the Indian cities meet World Health Organisation-prescribed annual PM 10 standard of 20 µg/m³, and very few meet the Central Pollution Control Board annual standard of 60 µg/m³.
The report said data obtained through RTI and previous studies on air pollution pinpoint to continued use of fossil fuels as the main source for the dangerous rise in pollutant levels in the air. Delhi, this season, had better air quality as compared to last year because of favourable meteorological conditions, such as higher temperatures and strong winds. On Wednesday, the city’s average PM 2.5 concentration was poor, with a concentration of 109 microgram per cubic metre.