Published on: January 11, 2022




The analysis by NCAP Tracker, has ranked cities based on pollution level


  • NCAP tracker is a joint project by news portal Carbon Copy and a Maharashtra-based start-up ‘Respirer Living Sciences’
  • Aim of tracker – designed to track India’s progress in achieving the clean air targets
  • Ranked Ghaziabad in Uttar Pradesh as the most polluted city out of the 132 non-attainment cities with highest levels of PM 2.5 and PM 10.
  • Delhi was the second most polluted city in the list of cities with the highest PM 2.5 level and fourth in cities with the highest PM 10 level.
  • Despite the constant focus on the air pollution woes of the Capital city, Delhi reduced its PM levels only marginally, the analysis said.
  • Varanasi was able to achieve the largest reduction in air quality levels (52 per cent in PM2.5 levels and 54 per cent in PM10 levels). The only other cities to achieve an at least 20 per cent reduction were Hubli, West Bengal (42 per cent in PM2.5 levels and 40 per cent in PM10 levels), and Talcher, Odisha (20 and 53 per cent respectively)


  • Launched by the Union Ministry of Environment, Forests and Climate Change in 2019.
  • Notified under the Environment Protection Act or any other Act.
  • Provide the States and the Centre with a framework to combat air pollution.
  • Major goal of reducing the concentration of coarse (particulate matter of diameter 10 micrometer or less, or PM10) and fine particles (particulate matter of diameter 2.5 micrometer or less, or PM2.5) in the atmosphere by at least 20% by the year 2024, with 2017 as the base year for comparison.


  • Initially, 102 cities from 23 States and UTs were chosen as non-attainment cities. With the exception of Delhi, Mumbai, Kolkata and Bengaluru, most of those chosen are tier two cities.
  • The cities were selected on the basis of the ambient air quality data from the National Air Quality Monitoring Programme (NAMP) of 2011 – 2015.
  • Maharashtra had the maximum number of cities chosen for the programme.