Question : List of Most Polluted Cities

(a) the names of cities in the country included in the list of the most polluted cities in the world;
(b) the pollution index in each of such cities;
(c) the contributing factors and the steps taken by the Government to prevent pollution; and
(d) the results achieved therefrom?

Answer given by the minister



(a) & (b) The methodology for calculation of pollution index in various parts of world is not same. Cities can be ranked on the basis of different criteria pollutants with different results. An ambient air pollution database released by the World Health Organisation in May 2016 indicates that 10 Indian cities fall among top 20 most polluted cities in the world in respect of PM2.5 (particulate matter) which is based on extrapolation of data relating to PM10 to arrive at PM2.5 data based on conversion factors in respect of cities where PM2.5 data is not measured. Therefore, care has to be exercised before drawing any inference. The names of Indian cities with concentration of PM2.5 reported by WHO and level of air pollution with available Air Quality Index monitored by CPCB is annexed.

(c) & (d) The major contributing factors to air pollution are road dust, vehicular emissions, construction and demolition activities, gensets, industrial emissions, garbage burning, stubble burning, hot mix plants, brick kilns, etc. Air pollution also depends on meteorological conditions including wind direction, wind speed, mixing height, temperature variation, etc. The major steps taken by Government to curb pollution in Delhi and NCR inter alia include notification of National Ambient Air Quality Standards; formulation of environmental regulations / statutes; setting up of monitoring network for assessment of ambient air quality; introduction of cleaner / alternate fuels like gaseous fuel (CNG, LPG etc.), ethanol blending; promotion of cleaner production processes; launching of National Air Quality index; universalization of BS-IV by 2017;leapfrogging from BS-IV to BS-VI fuel standards by 1st April, 2020; comprehensive amendments to various Waste Management Rules and notification of Construction and Demolition Waste Management Rules; banning of burning of leaves, biomass, municipal solid waste; promotion of public transport and network of metro, e-rickshaws, promotion of car pooling, Pollution Under Control Certificate, lane discipline, vehicle maintenance; regular co-ordination meetings at official and ministerial level with Delhi and other State Governments within the NCR; issuance of directions under Section 18(1)(b) of Air (Prevention and Control of Pollution) Act, 1981 and under Section 5 of Environment (Protection) Act, 1986; installation of on-line continuous (24x7) monitoring devices by major industries; collection of Environmental Protection Charge on more than 2000 CC diesel vehicles; and ban on bursting of sound emitting crackers between 10 PM to 6 AM etc.

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