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Hyderabad, the capital city of Telangana, has emerged as the most polluted city in South India, according to a recent analysis conducted by Greenpeace India. The study, which focused on air pollution levels, particularly PM 2.5, over 365 days, revealed that the air quality of Hyderabad is alarmingly poor, posing significant long-term health risks to its citizens.
Greenpeace India’s analysis indicates that the PM 2.5 levels in Hyderabad are a staggering 8.2 times higher than the safe limits recommended by the World Health Organization (WHO). PM 2.5 refers to fine particulate matter smaller than 2.5 micrometres in diameter, which can easily penetrate the respiratory system and pose serious health hazards. The city’s annual average concentration of PM 2.5 stands at 40.91ug/m³, reflecting a grave air pollution crisis.
In comparison to other cities in South India, Hyderabad’s air quality ranks the worst in terms of PM 2.5 pollution. Bengaluru records an annual average concentration of 29.01ug/m³, while Chennai records 23.81ug/m³, indicating relatively better air quality in these cities. However, it is important to note that even in these cities, the pollution levels are far from ideal and require immediate attention.
The Greenpeace India report emphasizes that the persistently high levels of PM 2.5 concentrations in Hyderabad can have severe long-term health impacts on the city’s residents. The report highlights that the 99th percentile of 24-hour concentrations recorded in Hyderabad over the 365-day period is a staggering 702.64ug/m³. This concentration is 6.8 times higher than the safe levels set by the WHO (15ug/m³), capable of causing severe short-term health crises.
The analysis conducted by Greenpeace India reveals that Hyderabad experienced hazardous levels of PM 2.5 concentrations for as many as 300 days, accounting for 81.97% of the entire year. This alarming statistic underscores the severity of the air pollution crisis in the city. Furthermore, the annual average PM 2.5 levels in Hyderabad are 41% higher than those recorded in Kochi (24.11ug/m³) and 29% higher than Bengaluru (29.01ug/m³), further underscoring the urgent need for air quality improvement measures.
The findings of the Greenpeace India report paint a worrying picture of the air quality situation in Hyderabad, ranking it as the most polluted city in South India. The city faces serious health risks with air pollution levels, particularly PM 2.5, significantly exceeding WHO guidelines. Immediate action is needed to address this issue and implement effective measures to improve air quality and safeguard the well-being of Hyderabad’s residents. It is essential for government authorities, environmental organizations, and citizens to come together and prioritize the implementation of sustainable solutions.