India’s capital New Delhi continued to top the list of most polluted capitals in the world, a study conducted by Swiss-Group IQAir showed.
The study, which measures air quality levels based on the concentration of lung-damaging airborne particles known as PM2.5, is based on the annual average of this particulate matter as well as airborne particles with less than 2.5 microns in diameter.
Chanchal also noted that while the lockdown brought up about temporary improvements in air quality, the health impact of burning fossil fuels continued to be severe.
“Speeding up the transition to clean energy and clean transport not only saves lives but also dramatically reduces healthcare-related costs,” he said.
The situation continues to remain dire in the state capital. According to an AFP report, around 54,000 deaths are estimated to have occurred due to hazardous PM2.5 airborne particles in February.
These PM2.5 particulates are considered to be the most harmful to health. This is because they inflict damage on the heart and lungs, as well as increase the chances of severe asthma attacks, the report said.
According to this study last year, Delhi’s average annual concentration of PM2.5 in a cubic meter of air was 84.1, which was more than double the level of Beijing, which averaged 37.5 during the year.
In fact, the seasonal average of winter pollution in Delhi-NCR in 2020-2021 was higher than in the previous year but the severity and duration of smog episodes were lower, a new analysis by the environment think tank Centre for Science and Environment (CSE) revealed on March 3.