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Polluted Cities in India

Why is it in the news?

  • Byrnihat, an industrial town in Meghalaya, emerged as the most polluted city in India in February 2024, with a monthly average 5 concentration of 183 µg/m3, according to data released by the Centre for Research on Energy and Clean Air (CREA).
  • Byrnihat’s PM2.5 levels were nearly 1.8 times higher than Delhi’s PM2.5 concentration for the same period, despite Delhi being known for high pollution levels.

 More about the news

  • Bihar’s Araria followed as the second most polluted city, with PM2.5 levels around 60 µg/m3 lower than Byrnihat.
  • Hapur in Uttar Pradesh and Hanumangarh in Rajasthan ranked as the third and fourth most polluted cities, respectively.
  • Other northeastern cities like Nalbari, Agartala, Guwahati, and Nagaon also featured among the 30 most polluted cities in India, indicating worsening pollution levels in the region.
  • Among northeastern cities with continuous air quality monitoring stations, six recorded PM2.5 levels surpassing the prescribed daily National Ambient Air Quality Standard (NAAQS) by the Central Pollution Control Board.
  • Sivasagar, Silchar, Aizawl, and Imphal were the cleanest cities in the region, recording monthly average PM2.5 concentrations below the NAAQS.
  • Despite being relatively clean compared to other cities, none of the northeastern cities complied with the WHO-safe guideline concentrations for PM2.5.

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