In what should come as an eye opener to the city, Udaipur has been ranked as the 59th most polluted city in the world. This was revealed by the World Health Organization’s (WHO) urban air quality database released on Thursday.
Besides Udaipur, four other cities from Rajasthan featured amongst the top-100 polluted cities in the world in terms of air-quality. Other Rajasthan cities include Jodhpur (30), Jaipur (33), Kota(58) and Alwar(61). These five cities are also amongst India’s top 25 most polluted cities.
As per the latest report, 98% of cities in low- and middle income countries with more than 100 000 inhabitants do not meet WHO air quality guidelines.
The rankings are based on ground measurements of annual mean concentrations of particulate matter (PM 10 and PM 2.5). Air pollution of PM 2.5 is associated with more serious health implications than PM 10. The finer particulate matter of PM 2.5 cause greater damage to the respiratory system than coarser PM 10. The primary source of data include official reporting from countries to WHO, and official national and sub-national reports and web sites containing measurements of PM10 or PM2.5.
As urban air quality declines, the risk of stroke, heart disease, lung cancer, and chronic and acute respiratory diseases, including asthma, increases for the people who live in them.
“Air pollution is a major cause of disease and death. It is good news that more cities are stepping up to monitor air quality, so when they take actions to improve it they have a benchmark,” says Dr Flavia Bustreo, WHO Assistant-Director General, Family, Women and Children’s Health. “When dirty air blankets our cities the most vulnerable urban populations—the youngest, oldest and poorest—are the most impacted.”
Time for Odd-even vehicles in Udaipur? Or a tighter control on nearby industrial units? Hope someone in the administration takes notice so that we have a healthy city along with a smart city.
Source: WHO website; Media reports