A report by the US-based Health Effects Institute (HEI) stated that Delhi and Kolkata are the top most polluted cities in the world in terms of exposure to hazardous fine particulate matter (PM2.5), while Mumbai being on 14th on the list.
In 2019, Delhi and Kolkata reported 106 and 99 deaths per lakh of the population, respectively due to exposure to PM2.5, while the highest deaths were reported in Beijing, China. i.e., 124 deaths per lakh of population.
According to a report, around 18 cities in India are home to an increase in PM2.5 pollution. During the last decade (2010-2019), these cities had seen an increase of more than 30 µg/m3 in PM2.5 pollution.
An air pollution expert said that since Delhi and Kolkata are among the most polluted cities globally, strict multi-sector action needs to be taken to meet the clean air benchmark as the PM2.5 pollution-related disease burden is increasing.
Air pollution is not just impacting our present but our future as well. Studies have shown the impact of air pollution on pregnancy. It may cause birth defects.
Instead of depending on the Government to implement certain guidelines to control pollution, we should voluntarily take steps to control pollution. A few such measures could be-
Prefer walking instead of taking vehicles for a shorter distance.
People should start using LPG instead of firewood stoves.
Avoid burning leaves, waste, or other materials.
Minimize the use of cars when travelling alone for a short duration.
Recycle the products and waste whenever possible.
Take public transport if possible.
Say no to plastic.
Do not waste electricity.