Delhi says air 'not as bad' as Beijing after smog scrutiny

Jan 29, 2014 by Abhaya Srivastava
The World Bank recently surveyed 132 countries and ranked India 126th for environmental performance and last for air pollution

India's air monitoring centre denied Wednesday that pollution in New Delhi was worse than in Beijing, following scrutiny of the Indian capital's winter smog, which shrouds the city each year.

A report in the New York Times last week and fresh research by scientists at Yale University suggested Delhi's air was more harmful than Beijing's, where concerns about the health impact of pollution are growing.

"I am amazed to read such reports because Delhi , especially in winter, is very poor but certainly not as bad as in Beijing," Gufran Beig, from the state-run System of Air Quality Weather Forecasting and Research (SAFAR), told AFP.

Yale's Global Environment Performance Index, a study of 178 countries released earlier this month, showed Delhi had the highest concentration of harmful small particles less than 2.5 micro meters in diameter (PM 2.5) followed by Beijing.

The New York Times meanwhile examined pollution figures collected from one monitoring centre in the first three weeks of this year, which found on average the daily peak figure over the period was 473 micrograms per cubic metre.

This was twice as high of an equivalent figure in Beijing, the newspaper said.

Delhi had the highest concentration of harmful small particles less than 2.5 micro meters in diameter (PM 2.5), according to Yale's Global Environment Performance Index

Beig said that a better measurement of Delhi's air would be the 24-hour average of PM2.5 pollution taken from nine stations spread around the capital.

This showed that PM 2.5 never crossed 250—although this is still 10 times the limit proposed by the World Health Organisation.

China's capital was shrouded in thick smog between January 16-18 with the count of small particulate reaching 650, more than 25 times recommended levels.

Pollution in China has been linked to hundreds of thousands of premature deaths, and has tarnished the image of its cities including Beijing, which saw a 10 percent drop in tourist visits during the first 11 months of 2013.

Graphic showing the world's top 10 worst polluted places, according to a 2013 study by US-based environment watchdog Blacksmith Institute and Green Cross Switzerland

Because PM2.5 particles are very small in size, they can easily enter the body and interfere with the functioning of the lungs.

They are also associated with increased rates of chronic bronchitis, lung cancer and heart diseases.

A World Bank report last year which surveyed 132 countries ranked India 126th for environmental performance and last for .

Explore further: Beijing air pollution at dangerously high levels

add to favorites email to friend print save as pdf

Related Stories

Beijing air pollution at dangerously high levels

Jan 16, 2014

Beijing's skyscrapers receded into a dense gray smog Thursday as the capital saw the season's first wave of extremely dangerous pollution, with the concentration of toxic small particles registering more ...

Chinese city blanketed in heavy pollution

Oct 21, 2013

Choking clouds of pollution blanketed a Chinese city famed for its annual ice festival Monday, reports said, cutting visibility to 10 metres (33 feet) and underscoring the nation's environmental challenges.

Pollution blamed for drop in Beijing tourism

Aug 03, 2013

The number of tourists visiting China's capital fell by more than 14 percent in the first half of this year compared to 2012, state media reported Saturday, with air pollution blamed for the decline.

Air pollution in Beijing reaches hazardous levels

Jan 12, 2013

Air pollution levels in China's notoriously dirty capital were at dangerous levels Saturday, with cloudy skies blocking out visibility and warnings issued for people to remain indoors.

Recommended for you

Implications for the fate of green fertilizers

2 hours ago

The use of green fertilizers is a practice that has been around since humans first began growing food, but researchers are warning that modern techniques for the creation of these fertilizers could have implications ...

Ditching coal a massive step to climate goal: experts

3 hours ago

Phasing out coal as an electricity source by 2050 would bring the world 0.5 degrees Celsius closer to the UN's targeted cap for climate warming, an analysis said on the eve of Tuesday's UN climate summit.

Monitoring heavy metals using mussels

6 hours ago

A research team in Malaysia has concluded that caged mussels are useful for monitoring heavy metal contamination in coastal waters in the Strait of Johore. Initial results indicate more pollution in the eastern ...

Climate change report identifies 'the most vulnerable'

8 hours ago

Extreme weather events leave populations with not enough food both in the short- and the long-term. A new report by the Environmental Change Institute (ECI) at the School of Geography and the Environment ...

User comments : 1

Adjust slider to filter visible comments by rank

Display comments: newest first

Lex Talonis
not rated yet Jan 30, 2014
India's air monitoring centre denied Wednesday that pollution in New Delhi was worse than in Beijing, following scrutiny of the Indian capital's winter smog, which shrouds the city each year.

That is like saying dog shit is nicer if it comes from Breed X dogs arse, compared to Breed Y dog's arse.

Pollution is BAD period.