Recently, as per the World Air Quality Report, 2020, India has 22 of the world’s 30 most polluted cities. And despite the brief respite that lockdown offered in terms of air pollution, Delhi is back to being a toxic chamber with an AQI that keeps fluctuating between 180 to 300. 

Here’s a look at where some of the other major cities in India stand, in terms of AQI: 

1. Delhi vs. Lucknow: After Delhi, Lucknow has the worst AQI, amongst the selected cities. 

2. Delhi vs. Kochi: Compared to Delhi, Kochi fared well, though it’s not out of danger zone. 

3. Delhi vs. Mumbai: Despite both being metros, Mumbai’s AQI has not crossed the 200 mark. 

4. Delhi vs. Bengaluru: As per the AQI scale, Bengaluru is ‘unhealthy’, but for ‘sensitive groups’. 

5. Delhi vs. Ahmedabad: There is a difference of over 100 points between Ahmedabad and Delhi. 

6. Delhi vs. Pune: Pune is yet another high-risk city, with a high concentration of PM2.5 in the air. 

7. Delhi vs. Chennai: Compared to other cities where the AQI keeps fluctuating, the AQI of Chennai is consistently at an unhealthy level.

8. Delhi vs. Hyderabad: The AQI in Hyderabad is one of the lowest, as compared to other cities being reviewed. 

9. Delhi vs. Kolkata: The minimum AQI recorded in Kolkata is 140, and the maximum, 181. 

10. Delhi vs. Guwahati: Guwahati is in a considerably better position than Delhi, though not out of danger level. 

11. Delhi vs. Chandigarh: Despite being one of India’s cleaner cities, Chandigarh still has an ‘unhealthy’ AQI.  

12. Delhi vs. Amritsar: Amritsar has one of the lowest AQIs, amongst cities reviewed. 

13. Delhi vs. Jaipur: Jaipur also has hazardous AQI, especially at Shastri Nagar and Adarsh Nagar. 

14. Delhi vs. Agra: Despite its close proximity to Delhi, Agra has a considerably better AQI. 

15. Delhi vs. Mussoorie: Of all the cities selected, Mussoorie is the only city with a ‘good’ AQI. 

All AQI values obtained as of March 18, 2021, from

Design credits: Nupur Agrawal