A CSE study on Pollution Levels in Cities and Towns

What is the news?

Centre for Science and Environment(CSE) has released a study analysing the difference in winter air pollution levels in cities and towns. It compares data of 2020-21 winter and the previous winters.

About the study:

  • The study analysed 99 cities. 75% of data completeness for two consecutive winters is the minimum criteria.
  • The analysis is based on real time data from an online portal Central Control Room for Air Quality Management. It is the Central Pollution Control Board’s(CPCB) official portal.

Key Findings:

  • The levels of PM 2.5 worsened in 43 of 99 cities when winter air pollution levels between 2020 and 2019 were compared.
    • PM 2.5: Particulate Matter(PM) 2.5 refers to a category of particulate pollutant that is 2.5 microns or smaller.
  • Impact of Covid-19: In the aftermath of the Covid lockdown, several cities reported improved pollution levels. However, after the restrictions were significantly eased, pollution levels were back to pre-COVID-19 levels
  • North India Most Polluted: The top 23 polluted cities were in North India. Among North region, Ghaziabad was the most polluted city.
  • Smaller towns and upcoming cities have higher winter pollution levels than the mega cities.
  • Worst Pollution Cities: The cities with the worst pollution increase include Gurugram, Lucknow, Jaipur, Visakhapatnam, Agra, Navi Mumbai, and Jodhpur. Kolkata is the only megacity in this group.
  • Least Polluted Cities: Mysuru is the least polluted followed by Satna in MP and Kochi in Kerala.
  • Statewise: Uttar Pradesh had eight cities in the top 10 which were most polluted. Ghaziabad and Bulandshahr topped the list.

Source: The Hindu

[Answered] “With rising pollution levels in Indian cities, India needs a Clean Air Act and an autonomous new body to enforce it.” Comment.

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