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

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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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7 killed after Delhi-Bound train derails in Bihar

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NEW DELHI — At least seven people have died and 14 others injured after a Delhi-bound train derailed early Sunday morning in Bihar’s Vaishali district.

Eleven coaches of 12487 Seemanchal Express derailed near Sahadai Buzurg at around 3:52 am. Three of the coaches overturned and the high force of the impact destroyed them completely.

The injured are being transported to local hospitals.

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The superfast train from Jogbani in Bihar to Delhi’s Anand Vihar Terminal was running at full speed when the accident took place, officials said.

Bodies are believed to be trapped inside one of the affected coaches and the number of dead is likely to rise, local police official said.

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