With the arrival of the harvest and festive seasons, north India, especially the capital city, is witnessing the peak in air pollution. According to the air quality index conducted by Swiss air technology company IQAir, Delhi’s air quality is the worst in the world. Lahore in Pakistan comes second. The list of the ‘World’s 20 most polluted cities’ contain three Indian cities. In 2019, the list had 14 cities.
Tashkent, the capital of Uzbekistan, is the least polluted city in the world. Melbourne in Australia holds second place. According to the World Health Organization (WHO), the air is safe to inhale when the particulate matter (PM2.5), a microscopic particle that causes air pollution, is less than 25 micrograms per cubic meter per day. In most parts of Delhi, the PM2.5 level is more than 10 times this limit.
This has been one of the reasons for banning firecrackers in various states of North India during Diwali. The ban lasts until November 30. Ironically, when COVID-19 hit India, the lockdown enhanced the air quality of various cities including Delhi. Now, the question is whether North India would be devoid of pollution caused by crop burning, vehicles and industries. How long can these cities stay afloat depending on room purifiers? Every year, millions of people die from airborne illnesses. The world is waiting for the best technology solutions to cure air pollution.