New Delhi pollution
A blanket of toxic haze engulfs the national capital.IANS

With an air quality index (AQI) of 527 on Friday, Delhi has become the most polluted major city in the world. The national capital's air quality broke all records on November 5, when it was in the hazardous range for nine consecutive days.

Within Asia, air pollution is concentrated in South Asia as six of the top 10 most polluted cities fall in the Indian sub-continent - Delhi, Lahore, Karachi, Kolkata, Mumbai and Kathmandu. 

Delhi made international headlines after the city witnessed the longest spell of hazardous air quality since public records began. Amid India's endeavours to become a global superpower, the state of air pollution in the national capital is ticking all the wrong boxes for global tourists, investors and international perception towards India.

Polluted South Asian cities

As per the world AQI rankings, Delhi is followed by Lahore in Pakistan at 234. However, there is a huge gap between the two and Delhi is suffering more pollution with a difference of more than two times.

At the third spot is Tashkent in Uzbekistan at 185 count which is a surprise because it is in a region considered to be not so congested and polluted.

Delhi pollution

Pakistan port city, Karachi is at the fourth place with an AQI count of 180, followed by Kolkata at 161 in the fifth place. China marks its entry with Chengdu with an AQI of 158.

Hanoi in Vietnam with an AQI of 158 is at the seventh spot followed by Guangzhou in China with an AQI of 157.

India's financial capital, Mumbai is in the ninth place with an AQI of 153 and the dubious Top 10 concludes with Kathmandu in Nepal at 152.

(With IANS inputs.)