Delhi now has a reason to celebrate. As per the latest reports of WHO’s(World Health Organisation) urban air quality database, released on Thursday, Delhi is no longer the most polluted city in the world. The data cover 3000 human settlements in 103 countries, mostly urban areas.
In 2014 Delhi was declared as the most polluted city. The new government formulated several measures and it has been successfully implemented. Delhi now ranks 11th in the chart.Zabol in Iran is now the most polluted city followed by Gwalior and Allahabad at the 2nd and 3rd place . Patna and Raipur are at the 6th and 7th place. Four Indian cities in top 10, is very alarming. Sinclair in the USA is the least polluted city in the world.
Delhi’s annual report suggests that particulate matter(PM) is 2.5 which has more severe health impacts than PM 10. The mean has however shown a downward trend from 153 micrograms to 122 micrograms per cubic meter. This is still 3 times higher than the Indian safe standards and almost 12 higher to the safe standards of WHO.
There is however a different side to this story. WHO has only considered the Particulate Matter and did not focus on the oxides of nitrogen or ammonia, which is the main reason behind pollution in the Western part of the country and in Europe. Secondly, in 2014 around 1600 cities were monitored while this year it was only 1400 cities. As per the recent statement of WHO, pollution is the lower in the high income countries than in the low or middle-income countries.
If we consider Delhi, it has managed to arrest the declining trend of its air quality. The policy that got implemented has started reaping results.India still has a total number of 4 cities in top 10. The government needs to focus on the emission of PM from other major sources like industries, thermal power stations, biomass burning. If the government can carry out the policies of controlled emission, it is only then that the Indians can breathe in a cleaner air.