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The Indian cities you should move to if you don’t want to live with deadly air pollution

India-air-pollution
AP Photo/Dar Yasin
Leave the big city behind.
By Maria Thomas
Published Last updated This article is more than 2 years old.

India is in the midst of a public health crisis.

New Delhi grabs all the headlines with its visible air pollution, but citizens in most other cities are also suffering. These cities, too, are battling levels of particulate matter (PM) well above the safe limits prescribed by the World Health Organisation and the National Ambient Air Quality (NAAQ) standards.

In 2015, there was no north Indian city that recorded healthy PM levels, a Greenpeace India report, released on Jan. 11, said. Titled Airpocalpyse, Assessment of Air Pollution in Indian Cities, it looked at air quality in 16 states and two union territories.

The report confirmed that air pollution is a national problem, one that needs urgent and diverse solutions. But it also revealed that there were a handful of cities in the south that did offer clean air, undoubtedly benefiting from lower industrial and vehicular pollution.

Here are the places that recorded PM10 levels within the NAAQ annual safe limit of 60 ug/m3.

Hassan
Karnataka
25
Mangalore
Karnataka
35
Bhadravathi
Karnataka
38
Mandya
Karnataka
40
Karwar
Karnataka
40
Ranebennur
Karnataka
46
Mysore
Karnataka
46
Chitradurga
Karnataka
46
Berhampur
Odisha
55
Cuddalore
Tamil Nadu
56
Warangal
Karnataka
56
Chamrajnagar
Karnataka
57
Bidar
Karnataka
57
Bellary
Karnataka
57
Khammam
Telangana
60

For comparison, India’s most crowded metropolises all recorded PM levels above 100 ug/m3 in 2015. Delhi’s annual average was 268 ug/m3, while Bengaluru’s was 119 ug/m3, Mumbai 107 ug/m3, and Kolkata 105 ug/m3.

The study did not include data from the state of Kerala, as well as certain north eastern states, which are likely to also have relatively cleaner air.

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