Deteriorating air quality, poor visibility, hazy weather, and hundreds of thousands sporting face masks: where is the time to celebrate all that Delhi stands for; being a prominent cultural beacon that stands at the intersection of culinary attraction and heritage buildings and all that razzmatazz?
New Delhi has, for the longest time, cultivated a reputation for itself that cannot be taken lightly. Forget the priceless and coveted analogies that celebrate it as among the best cities in India for the diversity of food or for being the culinary capital of North of India.
It’s time that one conceived Delhi away from the contours of vast green open spaces, spacious roads, and the tantalizingly tasteful food. Pollution in Delhi has earned it the wrath that’s dented what’s otherwise been a hearty reputation.
In fact, recently, things have been so bad that the real-time air quality ranking report by IQ Air Visual also identified Delhi as the most polluted city in all of India.
Implicit in the rising chaos of air pollution was what was evidenced during the ongoing month of November. The city’s air quality broke all records on November 5, when it was in the hazardous range for nine consecutive days. This has unfortunately been the longest spell of hazardous air quality ever witnessed by the national capital.
But there’s a catch!
If you thought that Delhi was the only worst polluted city in India, then perhaps it’s time to give our imagination a rejig. Apparently, there are at least two Indian cities that feature in the world’s top-10 polluted cities list.
If you are surprised, then well, don’t be! Adding to the chaos of the growing and literally uncontrollable population outburst, pollution is the great nadir of modern-day India.
And one wonders what could be sourer than finding that two Indian cities have made it to the list of the world’s top-10 polluted cities?
The city with the fifth-worst pollution in the world’s top 10 polluted cities happens to be Kolkata, a major economic and cultural center of the East. Apparently, the air quality reading, as on date, for Kolkata is 161.
Moreover, ninth on the charts in terms of the world’s top 10 polluted cities is the city of Mumbai, often regarded as the financial capital of India. Mumbai’s AQI, a recent media report suggested, was 153.
It narrowly matched another major contributor to the polluted air in South East Asia: Kathmandu (Nepal’s capital).
In fact, according to a report that highlighted the worst polluted cities in the world published in Livemint happened to share some telling insights:
Apart from cities like Delhi, Mumbai, and Kolkata, there are several cities
from the neighboring country Pakistan that feature on the world’s top 10
polluted cities list. One might say that it is interesting to find the names of
Lahore and Karachi in this regard.
In addition to the above, even the presence of Tashkent, the capital of Uzbekistan, a prominent Central East Asian nation in the world’s top 10 polluted cities brings a twinge of surprise. Does it not?
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But all of that said, it certainly doesn’t make for a promising picture that not one but two Indian cities find themselves in the list of most polluted cities in the world, perhaps an area that urgently requires India to alleviate its prominent position.