Of the most polluted cities in the world, 21 out of 30 were in India in 2019. So ever wondered which cities in India have the best worst Air Quality Index? At Blue Sky Analytics we take air quality very seriously, and investigated this. This is what our search yielded:

1. Gurugram

Gurugram led the list of most polluted cities in the world in 2018, with its satellite towns Ghaziabad, Faridabad, Noida, and Bhiwadi in the top six worst-affected cities.

2. Kanpur

Kanpur, known for its leather industry which released dangerous levels of chromium in the air, ranks high on the list of India’s most polluted cities. The city has the worst air quality in India as confirmed by the WHO. The annual average level of PM 2.5 in Kanpur is 173, which is 17 times higher than the recommended limit of WHO.‍

3. Faridabad

Faridabad is the largest and most populated city in Haryana. In addition, factors like burning of crops, industrial pollution and vehicular emission have deteriorated the air quality of the city.

4. Varanasi

The holy city of Varanasi is always on list of the most polluted cities in India. According to WHO, the average level of PM 2.5 in the city was as high as 151.

5. Gaya

Gaya, close to Varanasi is also on the list of the top ten polluted cities in India.Unregulated construction and illegal mining are the main reasons for increasing air pollution in Gaya. The average PM 2.5 level in Gaya as calculated by WHO was 149.

6. Patna

Patna, the capital of Bihar is one of India’s most polluted cities. The congested city is the transportation hub of the state. The averagelevel of PM 2.5 is 144 micro grams in this city according to various agencies.

7. Delhi

Air pollution levels in Delhi generally go through the roof post-Diwali  and hit their annual highs by December. Delhi was formerly the most air polluted city in India, recording the highest level of pollution in the last six years. The average level of PM 2.5 remains serious at 143.

8. Lucknow

The city of Nawabs is also on the list of the highest polluted cities in India in terms of the level of PM 2.5. Burning garbage, traffic and excessive construction work are some of the reasons for excessive pollution in Lucknow.

9. Agra

Agra is one of most sought after tourist destinations in India. Cooking fuels, factories, and vehicular emissions have increased the average PM 2.5 level to 131. The excessive level of air pollution has turned the marbles of the Taj Mahal yellow and green.

10. Muzaffarpur

Due to industries, brick kilns as well as construction activities, Muzaffarpur has high levels of pollution. The average level of PM2.5 in Muzaffarpur was 120.

(Header Image: Science, The Wire)