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Fourteen out of world’s 20 most polluted cities are in India: WHO

Gorkha Post

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NEW DELHI — The World Health Organisation (WHO) global air pollution database released in Geneva early Wednesday morning reveals that India has 14 out of the 20 most polluted cities in the world in terms of PM 2.5 concentrations, with the worst being Kanpur.

Greater Cairo in Egypt is the second most polluted city, followed by the Bangladesh capital, Dhaka. Beijing ranks fifth.

Other Indian cities that registered very high levels of PM2.5 pollutants are New Delhi, Faridabad, Gaya, Patna, Agra, Muzaffarpur, Srinagar, Gurgaon, Jaipur, Patiala and Jodhpur followed by Ali Subah Al-Salem in Kuwait and a few cities in China and Mongolia.

The WHO data also said that nine out of 10 people in the world breathe air containing high levels of pollutants. Globally, ambient air pollution caused by industries, cars and trucks, among others, caused 4.2 million deaths and indoor pollution caused 3.8 million deaths in 2016.

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The report said, “While the latest data shows ambient air pollution levels are still dangerously high in most parts of the world, countries also show some positive progress.”

An analysis of particulate matter in the air showed about 90% of people across the world are exposed to bad air, which was linked to 7 million deaths in 2016, WHO found.

The analysis shows many smaller towns and cities in India also report pollution levels comparable to Delhi; the sheer population of Delhi, home to over 17 million people, compounds the health impact of air pollution.

Delhi consistently features in the list of most polluted cities globally and mitigation measures have tended to focus on the capital although other, smaller cities too confront toxic levels of pollution.

Agencies

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32 dead, 1 missing in Papua attacks, Indonesian police say

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JAYAPURA, INDONESIA- Security forces tried to recover the bodies of 31 construction workers and a soldier who were killed in one of the worst separatist attacks in Indonesia’s restive province of Papua, officials said Tuesday.

Papua police spokesman Suryadi Diaz said 24 workers were killed on Sunday when gunmen stormed a government bridge construction project in a remote mountainous village in Nduga district.

Citing reports from several witnesses, Diaz said, eight other workers fled to the nearby house of a local parliament member, but an armed group came a day later and killed seven of them. However the eighth managed to escape and remains missing.

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“This is the worst attack launched by the armed criminal group recently amid intensified development by the government,” Diaz told The Associated Press.

Separately, Papua province military spokesman Lt. Col. Dax Sianturi said an armed group attacked a military post in Mbua village in the same district late Monday, killing a soldier and injuring another.

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