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India rejects WHO data showing Delhi air as world's dirtiest

Published on May 8, 2014 5:17 PM
Dense smog covers the Indian capital's skyline as evening sets in New Delhi on Nov 5, 2013. -- FILE PHOTO: AFP

NEW DELHI (AFP) - India's air monitoring centre on Thursday dismissed data released by the World Health Organisation that showed New Delhi's air as the dirtiest worldwide, saying the finding was biased and misleading.

A study of 1,600 cities across 91 countries released on Wednesday by WHO showed Delhi had an annual average concentration of airborne small particles of less than 2.5 micrometres in diameter, known as PM 2.5, of 153.

This was almost three times as high as the reading for Beijing of 56 despite the Chinese capital's reputation for smog, and 10 times that of London.

"We have data for New Delhi which is not biased," Gufran Beig from the state-run System of Air Quality Weather Forecasting and Research (SAFAR) said.

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