Through A Fog Of Data, Air Of Indian Cities’ Looks Dirtiest


GENEVA: The country should follow China’s example and clean the air in its cities, which are among the worst in the world for outdoor pollution, the World Health Organization said on Wednesday.

The database of more than 4,300 WHO cities showed that cities such as New Delhi, Varanasi and Patna were among the most polluted, according to the amount of particulate matter below 2.5 micrograms found in each cubic meter of air .

Chinese cities such as Xingtai and Shijiazhuang and the Saudi refining center in Jubail were also heavily contaminated, but the data from those places were between 4 and 5 years old, and Maria Neira, WHO’s chief of public health, said China had made Great improvements in India. must go on.

To see a map showing the air pollution in several towns and cities, click on

“There is a big step at the governmental level (in China) that declares war on air pollution,” said Neira. “One of the reasons is that the health argument was very strong and the fact that citizens breathed a totally unacceptable air.”

“We would be very happy if we now see a similar movement in India, which is one of the countries that we are particularly concerned about, although there are good initiatives that can be implemented quickly, even so the levels are very high and I would like to see a similar decision and leadership” .

The WHO says that nine out of 10 people on the planet breathe contaminated air and kill 7 million people every year, almost all of them in poor countries of Asia and Africa. About a quarter of deaths from heart disease, stroke and lung cancer can be attributed to air pollution, says the WHO.

Globally, outdoor air pollution has remained high and unchanged in the past six years, while domestic air pollution has worsened in many poorer countries, as people continue to cook with solid fuel or kerosene, instead of cleaner fuels such as gas and electricity.

“The transition to clean fuels and technology in the home, the clean energy of the home, is too slow, three decades have passed and we still have three billion people who depend mainly on (polluting) fuels and technologies, and that is only for cook, “said the WHO. the technical officer Heather Adair-Rohani.

The WHO global assessment is based on satellite data and models superimposed on the city database, which is self-selected because it is based on voluntary reports, with numbers that have been greatly revised since the previous report.

The most polluted city in the 2016 report, Zabol in Iran, has had its pollution level reduced four times in the latest version of the database, and now it seems to be cleaner than the capital of Australia, Canberra.

“The data we present today are, I believe, the most accurate that can be expected at this time,” said Neira.