New Delhi launches air quality index

Global Business

India has come under scrutiny lately for not caring enough for its environment. Critics say this is just the first step and India will have to find ways to tackle its pollution, which is chocking its cities. CCTV’s Shweta Bajaj filed this report from New Delhi.

New Delhi Launches Air Quality Index

New Delhi Launches Air Quality Index

India has come under scrutiny lately for not caring enough for its environment. Critics say this is just the first step and India will have to find ways to tackle its pollution, which is chocking its cities. CCTV's Shweta Bajaj filed this report from New Delhi.

The countries with the worst smog problems

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Data: WHO. All figures based on annual mean concentration of particulate matter of less than 10 microns of diameter (PM10) [ug/m3] and of less than 2.5 microns (PM2.5) in cities.

Of the 100 smoggiest cities, 31 are in India. (Click column names to sort.)

It’s for the first time that India will have an Air Quality Index. The Indian government launched an index to monitor quality of air across urban India to raise awareness. Launched in 10 cities, the Air Quality Index will be expanded to 66 other cities where population exceeds 1 million.

The launch garners significance as Delhi has been ranked as one of the most polluted cities in the world and many other cities in India are witnessing rising pollution levels.

The Air Quality index will rate pollution in Indian cities and will issue advisories on health matters. The ten cities will have monitoring centers with display boards on a colour coded scale of six colours with green indicating good air quality and red indicating dangerous levels. To give a sense, in the month of December, 65 per cent of the times Delhi was considered unfit to live in.

India’s capital New Delhi has a toxic mix of fumes emanating from industry, construction and traffic, which has been seriously impacting the health of it’s residents. A recent study jointly done by Delhi’s energy resources institute found that nearly 3,000 people die prematurely in Delhi because of poor air quality. Though the Air Quality Index will find the level of pollution, critics say, its more important to tackle the causes.

Though environmentalists are happy, they also add their needs to be more transparency on how and in how much time the calculations will be done.