Delhi: The Pollution Capital of the World
In the recently put out index prepared by IQAir of Switzerland, Delhi has managed to top the most air polluted capital of the world chart out of 92 capitals yet again. This did not come out as a surprise as Delhi has been topping the chart for the past three years. The index also notes that other than Delhi, 62 out of 100 most air-polluted cities are in India, and if we consider the top 15 air polluted cities, a staggering 10 cities are in India. The level of air pollution is measured by the presence of the lethal and microscopic PM2.5 pollutants and according to the World Health Organisation, the safe limit for its presence is 5 micrograms per cubic meter. None of the cities in India met this level and the average presence of PM2.5 pollutants in India is 58.1 micrograms per cubic meter, more than 10 times the safe limit. The number for Delhi goes even further to 96.4 micrograms per cubic meter, almost 20 times the safe limit. To tackle this serious issue, we would require systematic measures such as shifting to clean energy, waste management, a robust public transport network, etc. and individual efforts like cycling. Small efforts such as cycling will not only positively impact our health but can also prove to be a significant step towards climate action.