Indian cities have scored the 5th global ranking in being the most polluted. This means that the Indian air quality has fallen way below the recommended levels. The survey on air pollution by IQAir AirVisual was published in World Air Quality Report, 2019.
Earlier on China had the most polluted cities and was ranked 84th on the global map of pollution. China implemented aggressive measures to control its pollution levels. The Sino government mobilized the country’s top-down, authoritarian state and implemented new measures. For instance, to save its river the Chinese government closed down industries, on its banks at the cost of its economic development. Perhaps this is the key.
In India, the political scenario is fixed on economic growth. Consequently, industrialization and infrastructure building is at its peak. In Delhi, the toxic foams that form on the Yamuna River is a scary reminder of how bad the situation is. Yet most Indians remain oblivious to the dangers of air pollution. In fact, in an uber-urban area of Delhi, they now have an Oxygen bar. Here people buy Oxygen in measures and breathe in that much-unpolluted air to boost their systems.
Yann Boquillod, director AirVisual states that in Beijing controlling air pollution was taken as a priority. There they do what they commit to. China puts resources to use when it needs to control situations like pollution.
New Delhi, however, is black sheep for India. New Delhi’s air quality has become worse over the last 5 years. The situation is so out of hand now that Delhi is ranked as the fifth-worst globally. The worst-ranked city in India though is Ghaziabad, situated in the suburbs of Delhi.
Notably, Asian countries, including India and China remain the most air polluted. However, it is not unjustifiable. With the Asian countries becoming larger trading partners for the world, manufacturing and production are at its peak. With contributing factors like crowded cities, vehicular exhaust, coal-fired power plants, agricultural burning and industrial emissions on the roll, this region is bound to be emitting toxic wastes into the air as well.
Unlike developed countries like Germany where renewable energy is one of the primary sources of efficient power generation, Asian countries are yet to level up. Though the Indian government has taken several initiatives to make renewable energy its core it will take time for it to become a reality.