Begusarai of Bihar most polluted metropolitan city globally in 2023 – Times of India


NEW DELHI: The 6th Annual World Air Quality Report has unveiled critical insights, ranking India among the world’s top three most polluted countries in 2023. This comprehensive analysis, based on data from over 30,000 air quality monitoring stations worldwide, highlights a grim reality for India’s environment and public health.
According to the report, India’s average PM2.5 concentration was recorded at 54.4 µg/m3, surpassing the World Health Organization’s (WHO) annual guideline by more than tenfold.This places India in a precarious position, trailing only behind Bangladesh and Pakistan in the list of the most polluted countries.
As per the report, 83 of the 100 worst polluted cities in the world are in India.Significantly, the report underscores that Begusarai, a city in Bihar, has emerged as the most polluted metropolitan area globally in 2023. Moreover, India is the unfortunate host to the four most polluted cities worldwide, emphasizing the urgent need for environmental and public health reforms within the country.
Frank Hammes, the Global CEO of IQAir, reiterated the critical nature of this situation, saying, “A clean, healthy, and sustainable environment is a universal human right.” He highlighted the vital role of air quality data in prompting action and improving overall air conditions. The lack of comprehensive air quality data in many regions, as noted in the report, contributes to delayed action and continued human suffering due to air pollution.

The findings also indicate a broader regional issue, with Central & South Asia accounting for the ten most polluted cities on the planet. This points to a pressing need for collaborative efforts to address transboundary haze and other pollution sources that exacerbate the situation.
Only ten countries and territories possessed “healthy” air quality levels: Finland, Estonia, Puerto Rico, Australia, New Zealand, Bermuda, Grenada, Iceland, Mauritius, and French Polynesia.
Aidan Farrow, Sr Air Quality Scientist at Greenpeace International, called for urgent local, national, and international efforts to enhance air quality monitoring and reduce dependence on combustion-based energy sources. He remarked, “In 2023, air pollution remained a global health catastrophe,” underlining the disproportionate effects on vulnerable and marginalized communities.

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