Cse: Bad air getting worse in metros: CSE study | India News


NEW DELHI: Delhi has managed to bend its seasonal pollution curve by recording a slight improvement in air quality but pollution is on the rise in most other mega cities. During 2022-23 winter, Kolkata and Mumbai were the most polluted after the national capital while Bengaluru and Chennai saw the fastest worsening of hazardous pollutant levels, said the Centre for Science and Environment in its analysis of real time particulate matter (PM2.5) data of six cities for October-February period.
The CSE report, released on Tuesday, said all mega cities, irrespective of their locations in different geo-climatic zones, faced the challenge of worsening PM2.5 levels during the winter of 2022-23. While levels in Delhi had been the highest, the remaining cities had experienced very poor to worsening trends.

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Data show if Delhi is excluded, Kolkata had the highest number of “very poor” AQI days while Mumbai had the least number of ‘good’ AQI days in 2022-23 winter. Peak winter pollution in Bengaluru and Hyderabad was the worst in last four years.
“The rising winter air pollution in other mega cities does not get adequate attention. These cities located outside the northern plains may have more favourable meteorological conditions to contain the peaking of pollution during winters, but their overall city average and levels across locations can cause very high exposures,” said Anumita Roychowdhury, executive director-research and advocacy, CSE.
Analysis of PM2.5 data in Delhi, Kolkata-Howrah, Mumbai, Hyderabad, Bengaluru and Chennai for the winter period (October 1-February 28) shows the five megacities registered higher seasonal PM2.5 average this winter compared to the previous one. This was in contrast to Delhi which registered its least polluted winter compared to previous four winters.
The report shows Delhi, with a winter average PM2.5 level of 151 micrograms per cubic meter (g/m³) remains the most polluted mega city. But in the other five mega cities, average PM2.5 levels this winter stood at 84 g/m³ for Kolkata (including Howrah) and 77 g/m³ for Mumbai – both higher than the 24-hour standard for PM2.5.
Hyderabad’s winter average of 59 g/m³ was just under the standard. Though Bengaluru with 44 g/m³ and Chennai with 42 g/m³ were under the 24-hour standard, both the cities breeched the annual standard for PM2.5.


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