18 cities in state breach WHO pollution norms

18 cities in state breach WHO pollution norms

18 cities in state breach WHO pollution norms

Bengaluru, Tumakuru, Bidar, Davanagere and Raichur are the five most polluted cities in Karnataka, according to a report released by Greenpeace on Monday.

These cities have a high concentration of dust particles that can penetrate and lodge deep inside the lungs, causing serious health problems.

The five cities top a list of 10 most polluted urban centres in Karnataka.

Using government data, the report presents a country-wide picture on the prevalence of PM-10 (particulate matter with a diameter of 10 microns), one of the two most dangerous components of air pollution, the other being PM-2.5.

The report found that none of the 18 cities of Karnataka for which official data is available are within the World Health Organisation safe-limits (20 micrograms per cubic metre) and 10 of them are beyond the safe-limit specified by the Central Pollution Control Board (60 micrograms per cubic metre).

The other high PM10 cities in Karnataka are Hubballi, Dharwad, Kolar, Kalaburagi and Belagavi.

The report, titled Airpocalypse-II, states: "Assessment of air quality from the data indicates that annual PM10 levels in 10 cities were above the annual PM10 standard, while four cities had annual levels above the daily standard (100 micrograms as per CPCB)."

However, cities in the south have slightly better air quality when compared with those in the north.

The report maintained that nearly 550 million Indians live in areas where the level of killer pollutants exceeded the national standards.

They include 180 million living in areas where air pollution levels are more than twice the stipulated limit.

The report was released on a day when the Economic Survey took note of the high pollution level in New Delhi and other cities.

The national capital, undoubtedly, is the most polluted city with an annual PM10 level of 290 micrograms, followed by Faridabad, Bhiwadi and Patna.

Surprisingly, Dehradun, once thought to be a salubrious preserve of retiring elite, also made it to the top 10 list of most polluted cities.

In the south, Kerala and Tamil Nadu fare better than the others.

In 2016, the annual average of PM10 for the top 20 most polluted cities varied between 290 and 195 micrograms.

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