MCD head office Town Hall India’s most polluted, says ministry study

The air around Delhi's Town Hall — the seat of the Capital's Mayor and 271 other lawmakers — is the most poisonous in the country.

The latest National State of the Environment report — a review of the nation's environment — prepared by the Ministry of Environment and Forests and NGO Development Alternatives, has found that of all locations in India, the Town Hall was the most polluted in 2007.

The study, published after eight years of the government's previous report, has found more than one pollutant at the Town Hall, located in the heart of Delhi's Walled City. It scores the highest

in Suspended Particulate Matter (SPM) and Nitrogen Oxide.

In 2007, Town Hall, classified as a residential area, had its air thick with an annual average of 82 miligram per cubic metre (mg/m3) of Nitrogen Oxide (NO2). The permissible standard is 60 mg/m3. Sarojini Nagar registered 65 mg/m3.

Town Hall figures repeatedly in the list of other pollutants as well — for Respirable Suspended Particulate Matter (RSPM), Town Hall was at number five in the list, with 198 mg/m3. The limit is once again 60 mg/m3. Town Hall's SPM count was also far higher than the standard of 140 mg/m3 — 476 mg/m3.

In Delhi, Mayapuri is at number four in the list of the country's most polluted industrial spots. The RSPM here stood at 233 mg/m3 against the standard of 120 mg/m3. Satna in Madhya Pradesh is the most polluted in this category with 288 mg/m3. Mayapuri registers high SPM too: 461 mg/m3, exceeding the standard of 360 mg/m3.

The report blames it all on the Capital's cars. It states: "Unbelievably, 17 per cent of India's cars run in Delhi alone. The vehicle stock is expected to quadruple by 2020."

The report says Delhi currently has more cars than the individual states of Maharashtra, Tamil Nadu, Gujarat and West Bengal.

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