Pollution levels decreasing in Delhi, says Rai

After a new report stated that Delhi is the world’s ‘most polluted’ capital city, Environment Minister Gopal Rai asserted on Wednesday that pollution levels have been decreasing consistently in the capital city.

“Delhi is a state where pollution levels have been decreasing consistently. From 2015 till 2023, there has been a decrease in levels of PM 10 and PM 2.5. After 2015, last year we had 206 days of better air quality,” Rai told ANI.

Delhi was identified as the capital city with the poorest air quality, according to the World Air Quality Report 2023 by Swiss organisation IQAir.

With an average annual PM2.5 concentration of 54.4 micrograms per cubic metre, India had the third worst air quality out of 134 countries in 2023 after Bangladesh (79.9 micrograms per cubic metre) and Pakistan (73.7 micrograms per cubic metre), report stated.

Delhi’s PM2.5 levels worsened from 89.1 micrograms per cubic metre in 2022 to 92.7 micrograms per cubic metre in 2023.

The national capital was ranked the most polluted capital city in the world four times on the trot starting 2018.

It is estimated that 1.36 billion people in India experience PM2.5 concentrations exceeding the World Health Organisation (WHO) recommended annual guideline level of 5 micrograms per cubic metre, the report said.



Delhi LG writes to CM Arvind Kejriwal on pollution report

Meanwhile, Delhi LG VK Saxena has written to chief minister Arvind Kejriwal, urging him to take some concrete measures to fix the city’s pollution problem.

“I am writing to draw your attention to the disturbing national headlines today-“Delhi-The World’s Most Polluted-Foulest Capital Again,” wrote LG

“I hope that in the coming months, you will take some concrete measures and share with the people of Delhi your plans for fixing these core problems…,” LG said.



A silent and potent killer


Causing an estimated one in every nine deaths worldwide, air pollution is the greatest environmental threat to human health.

According to the WHO, air pollution is responsible for an estimated seven million premature deaths worldwide every year.

Exposure to PM2.5 air pollution leads to and exacerbates numerous health conditions, including but not limited to asthma, cancer, stroke, and lung disease.

Exposure to elevated levels of fine particles can impair cognitive development in children, lead to mental health issues, and complicate existing illnesses, including diabetes.

(With inputs from PTI)

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