>> This is officially the world's most polluted city. Kanpur, in India's north, is home to 3 million people. Each one of them breathes the city's soupy air each day. And it's lead to respiratory problems in Kanpur, tripling in just the last five years. This year, Kanpur topped a World Health Organization list of global cities with the worst air.
Reuters Neha Dasgupta has been covering the story.>> I am at one of the air quality monitoring stations in Kanpur. I'm standing right next to a machine that measures approximately 2.5 micrograms and this is precisely the indicator that use to rank Kanpur at number one.>> The pollution particles called PM2.5 are the most dangerous.
They're small enough to work their way deep into peoples lungs. Kanpur's air is so bad the cities hospitals completely overwhelmed with patients who have trouble breathing. The hospital's so busy respiratory patients are now being housed in the eye ward. One doctor told Reuters that patients with lung cancer used to arrive on average every three months, now they turn up every week.
Much of the city’s pollution comes from its industry. Leather tanneries and other factories that burn coal. That’s along with traffic on unpaved roads kicking up dust.>> If you go out on the roads you will see congestion from vehicles. Traffic, you will see unpaved roads. You will see toxic dump scattered across the city.
>> Air pollution's a huge challenge for India. But their country's Federal Environment Ministry says few cities have the capacity to tackle pollution. Only a handful of India's 100 most polluted cities have action plans to improve air quality. That's despite being told by the country's federal government to develop them three years ago.
Kanpur's local government says it plans to seal local roads to limit dust, set up a train service, and plant more trees. But, couldn't' tell Reuters any deadlines for the proposed actions.