Indian News

Air Quality Worsens in India, Surpassing China’s Pollution Levels

As winter sets in, India grapples with alarming levels of air pollution, surpassing even China in the severity of its air quality issues. The onset of winter exacerbates the problem due to cold weather, stagnant air, and agricultural burning practices. A recent study revealed that New Delhi experienced air pollution levels 14 times higher than Beijing during a 30-day period.

In contrast to 2017 when China dominated the list of the world’s most polluted cities, India now holds a staggering 65 out of the top 100 positions, with only 16 attributed to China. The gravity of India’s air pollution crisis is underscored by its impact on public health and the economy. The World Bank highlights that pollution is impeding India’s economic growth, affecting workforce productivity and hindering business expansion.

Despite the severity of the issue, India’s government has yet to prioritize comprehensive measures to combat air pollution. The adverse effects extend beyond health concerns, with the Clean Air Fund’s 2021 report pointing out the detrimental impact on various business resources. Air pollution disrupts the efficiency of solar panels, damages electronic components, and reduces crop yields.

Karthik Ganesan from the Council on Energy, Environment, and Water describes urban air pollution as India’s most significant contemporary challenge, transforming the demographic dividend into a considerable burden. Meanwhile, China, previously notorious for its pollution woes, has made notable strides in recent years. Acknowledging the severity of its air pollution crisis in 2014, China implemented a $270 billion national plan, limiting vehicle numbers, curbing emissions from industries, and halting new coal plant construction. China’s efforts resulted in a 42.3% reduction in air pollution from 2013 to 2021, contributing to a global decrease in pollution levels during this period.

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