(COLOMBO, LANKAPUVATH) –Seven of the world’s 10 worst polluted cities are in India, a new study has revealed, with wider South Asia home to scores more blighted by dirty air.
Gurugram, a city about 30km southwest of India’s capital New Delhi, had the worst pollution levels globally in 2018, the study published on Tuesday by AirVisual and Greenpeace showed.
Three other Indian cities, and Faisalabad, in Pakistan, made up the top five. Out of the 20 most polluted cities worldwide, 18 were in India, Pakistan and Bangladesh.
New Delhi, home to more than 20 million people, was ranked at 11, making it the world’s most polluted capital, ahead of Dhaka, in Bangladesh, and Kabul, in Afghanistan.
“Air pollution steals our livelihoods and our futures,” Yeb Sano, executive director of Greenpeace Southeast Asia, said in a statement. “In addition to human lives lost, there’s an estimated global cost of 225 billion dollars in lost labour, and trillions in medical costs,” he added.
“We want this report to make people think about the air we breathe, because when we understand the impacts of air quality on our lives, we will act to protect what’s most important.”