NEW DELHI: The State of Global Air 2020 (SOGA2020) has examined that India has recorded an increase in the levels of Particulate Matter 2.5 (PM 2.5) since 2010. The report was released on Wednesday, October 21. Nepal, Niger, Qatar and Nigeria are following India in terms of concentration of PM 2.5. The claims of the report are contradictory to the data released by the Government of India which shows that air pollution levels in the country are decreasing.
SOGA is released by Health Institute and Global Burden of Disease (GBD), United States of America (USA). The report uses data from ground monitors and satellites to make their assessments. To calculate the annual average of PM 2.5 exposure or concentrations, the scientists divided the globe in blocks or grids. They linked the concentrations in these blocks with the number of people living in each block to produce a population weighted annual average concentration.
India is also in the list of top 10 countries with highest levels of Ozone (O3) exposure in the world in 2019. India is at the third spot in this list with the highest increase (17 per cent) in O3 concentrations in the last ten years. On an average, the global exposure to ozone has increased from 47.3 parts per billion (ppb) in 2010 to 49.5 ppb in 2019.
However, one point of relief for India is that the country has reduced the number of people exposed to household pollution from 73 per cent to 61 per cent. Since 2010, India has managed to decrease the number of people exposed to household pollution by 50 million. This has been achieved by various government schemes such as the Pradhan Mantri Ujjwala Yojana (PMUY).