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Ahmedabad is India’s most polluted city

Saturday 23 August 2003

Article paru dans le Times of India, ?dution du 23 ao?t 2003.

AHMEDABAD: Pollution has reached critical levels in a number of cities across India, including New Delhi and Mumbai, according to a government report.

Ahmedabad is the country’s most polluted city, with suspended particulate matter averaging "well above" the critical mark of 210 milligrams per cubic meter, according to a report by the Central Pollution Control Board.

Motor vehicles are the worst polluters in the city of 5 million people, according to a copy of the report obtained on Friday by The Associated Press. It was not clear when the document would be made public.

A critical level of suspended particles such as sulphur and lead can cause shortness of breath, lung ailments such as asthma and cancer. The standard SPM count is under 140 milligrams.

Kanpur is India’s second-most polluted city with an SPM count of about 210 milligrams, the report said.

Pollution has also reached critical levels in New Delhi, Bombay, Kolkata and Chennai, it said.

A pollution control board official said on condition of anonymity that the agency had alerted the Gujarat state government to rising pollution levels in Ahmedabad three years ago, but authorities took little action as more than 73,000 polluting vehicles were added to the roads each year.

Many of these vehicles are taxis that use a polluting mixture of diesel and kerosene, the official said. The Gujarat government said it was trying to encourage the use of natural gas vehicles to alleviate the problem, said K. Bhanujan, chairman of the state’s Pollution Control Board.

Several other cities, most of them popular destinations for foreign tourists — Hyderabad, Cochin, Dehradoon, Thiruvananthapuram and Jaipur, also had high pollution levels.

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