Delhi no longer most polluted city

New Delhi: The national capital, ranked worst in 2014, is no longer the world's most polluted city.

However, four other Indian cities were among the seven most polluted cities, the World Health Organization (WHO) said on Thursday, warning that over 80 per cent of the world's city dwellers breathe poor quality air.

According to a new report by WHO based on data collected between 2008 and 2013, Gwalior, Allahabad, Patna and Raipur have overtaken New Delhi.

Delhi is at the 11th spot among the most polluted cities, with the annual PM 2.5 being at 122.

This is about three times the Indian safe standard and 12 times the WHO standard of 10 micrograms per cubic metres.

The most polluted city of the world now is Zabol in Iran, with PM 2.5 at an alarming 217.

Next in the list are Gwalior and Allahabad (India), Riyadh and Al Jubail (Saudi Arabia), Patna and Raipur (India), Bamenda (Cameroon), Xintagi and Baoding (China) and Delhi and Ludhiana (India).

Kanpur, Lucknow, and Firozabad are also among top 20 most polluted cities in the world.

In the WHO 2014 report, 13 of the 20 most polluted cities were in India.

"While all regions of the world are affected, populations in low-income cities are the most impacted," the report said.

As per WHO, 98 percent of cities in low and middle income countries with more than 100,000 inhabitants do not meet WHO air quality guidelines.


With agency inputs