India has one of the worst air pollution levels in the world, according to a study released on Tuesday by an advocacy group.
The study by the NGO World Health Organisation (WHO) and the Global Commission on Climate Change (GCWC) found the country’s capital, Bangalore, was ranked fourth in the WHO’s index, with particulate matter (PM) levels in excess of 400 micrograms per cubic metre, compared with the WHO average of around 300 microgram per cubic meter.
The report found that between October last year and September, PM levels had risen to the highest in the country since 2014, and that the average level of PM in the city increased to 1,500 microgrammes per cubic metres.
The capital is also ranked in the worst urban area, the report said, citing data from the National Pollution Control Board, the central government’s air quality watchdog.
“Bengal has been under extreme pollution for the past few years and it is a real concern.
This is why we are focusing on the urban area.
We are hoping that we will be able to achieve a real improvement in air quality,” said Pratibha Mukherjee, the general secretary of the Global Coalition for Clean Air (GCCLA).
The WHO and the GCWC also said the city was home to the largest number of air pollution hotspots in India, with PM10 concentrations in excess the WHO limit of 50 microgramms per cubic centimeter.
India has the world’s highest PM10 levels.
“As part of our efforts to improve air quality in India we are working with the government to provide better access to clean drinking water and to introduce an early warning system to help improve pollution levels,” the WHO said in a statement.
“The data also shows that the city has more PM10s than any other major Indian city.
In other words, it is the second largest city in the nation to have more PMs than other major cities.”
The WHO’s report did not list the source of the pollutants, but said the water supply and sewage treatment facilities in the capital are “particularly polluted” and have a large concentration of PMs.
The report also said that the majority of PM10 in Bangalore is coming from factories and industrial facilities, and not from household sources.
It also noted that the pollution levels are increasing over time, with more than 100 days of PM2.5 readings exceeding 50 microg/m3 in December, the highest level recorded in the past year.
India’s capital has also been one of India’s biggest polluters for years.
The country’s economy is dependent on exports, mainly to Europe and the United States, and its industrial sector employs about 3.5 million people.