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Guwahati is 2nd most polluted city in Central & South Asia, Aizawl among least polluted cities

First Published: 19th March, 2024 18:07 IST

Guwahati's poor air quality have been attributed to numerous construction work, and increase in vehicles congesting the city's streets.

In a worrying revelation, Guwahati has been ranked as the second most polluted city in Central and South Asia and two other cities from the region, Silchar  and Aizawl are among the least polluted cities in Central and South Asia, according to the World Air Quality Report 2023 published by IQAir, a Swiss air quality technology company.

Guwahati’s poor air quality have been attributed to numerous construction work as well as a significant rise in the number of vehicles congesting the city’s streets and adding to the pollution.

Guwahati’s yearly average PM2.5 concentration of PM105.4 exceeds WHO recommendations by more than tenfold.

Breathing air with fine particulate matter (PM) above PM2.5 is harmful to health as it penetrates deep into lung tissue and may even enter the bloodstream. It comes from sources like the combustion of fossil fuels, dust storms and wildfires, and has been linked to asthma, heart and lung disease, cancer, and other respiratory illnesses, as well as cognitive impairment in children.

Begusarai in Bihar with a population of half a million, ranks number one among the list of 15 most polluted cities in Central and South Asia.

Silchar and Aizawl are ranked seventh and eighth respectively in the list of 15 least polluted cities in Central and South Asia.

In an alarming trend, India is ranked third in the list of most polluted countries in 2023 after Pakistan and Bangladesh. India’s annual PM 2.5 was 54.4µg/m3 compared to Pakistan’s 73.7µg/m3 and Bangladesh’s 79.9µg/m3.

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