New Delhi: A Yale University study has found national capital Delhi the world's most polluted city. It beats China's Beijing, where pollution alerts prompted immediate government intervention. Delhi's rising levels of pollution seem to have so far been ignored by government agencies.
Here are 10 points that should set alarm bells ringing:
- India has been ranked 155 of 178 countries on the green index.
- Delhi's air pollution is twice that of Beijing, which often witnesses infamous smog hang low over the city for days.
- Delhi's air pollution levels have risen an alarming 44 per cent since last year
- Delhi's pollution is caused mainly by vehicular and industrial emissions; 1,400 vehicles are added to Delhi roads every day.
- The met department has said that high pollution levels have led to an increase in smog and cold in the past few winters.
- The pollution is a health problem. About two in every five people in Delhi complain of respiratory problems.
- On the green index, India is worse than all the other BRICS nations - China, Brazil, Russia and South Africa. China ranks at 118; South Africa is the best of these at 72. Switzerland tops the list of 178.
- The report finds India and China the worst performers globally with respect to two air pollution indicators - average exposure and average exceedance.
- India has also been found to perform below the global average on biodiversity and habitat protection
- India's low Gross Domestic Product or GDP and high population has been found to heighten India's environmental challenge.