Sri Lanka is least polluted country in South Asia – report

ECONOMYNEXT – Sri Lanka is the twenty-fifth most polluted country in the world but has the cleanest air in South Asia according to the IQAir AirVisual’s 2019 World Air Quality Report.

The island’s only metropolis, the Greater Colombo region is the most polluted with the congested area around Kynsey Road showing the highest particulate matter.

Air quality improves as you move into the suburbs, the report showed.

Up in the cool green hills of Kandy, the air quality is considered “good” according to the report, although the locals may not agree.

South Asia continues to be of particular concern, with 27 of the 30 most polluted cities in India, Pakistan or Bangladesh. Pakistan’s Gujranwala, Faisalabad and Raiwind, are among the ten most polluted cities, and the major population centres of New Delhi, Lahore, and Dhaka rank 5th, 12th and 21st respectively, according to AirVisual data.

Sri Lanka has the best air quality according to the report in the region with pollution regarded as “moderate.” The rest of the region is listed as “unhealthy.”

India is again at the top of the annual list of cities with the worst air quality in the world, according to the new report, while Chinese cities have continued to show improvements from the previous year, cnn.com reported.

Twenty-one of the world’s 30 cities with the worst air pollution are in India, according to data compiled in the report with six in the top ten.

Ghaziabad, near New Delhi is ranked as the world’s most polluted city, with an average air quality index (AQI) of 110.2 in 2019. That’s more than double the level which the US Environmental Protection Agency regards as healthy.

Chinese cities have overall seen marked improvements in recent years, with average concentrations of pollutants falling 9% from 2018 to 2019, according to the report.

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China’s capital Beijing has more than halved its annual levels o particulate matter levels over the past decade and has dropped out of the world’s 200 most polluted cities following concerted efforts to get air pollution under control. (Colombo, February 25, 2020)

Arjuna Ranawana

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