Lucknow: Ghaziabad and Allahabad have emerged as the two most air polluted cities in Uttar Pradesh and this has been revealed in a recent survey conducted by a research and advocacy organization.

The survey conducted by Delhi-based Centre for Science and Environment (CSE) found pollutants of the size of 10 micron in Ghaziabad, Allahabad, Kanpur and Bareilly, which was four times the acceptable size of particulates in urban areas.

It also found air pollution levels three times more than the prescribed limits in Lucknow, Firozabad, Agra, Mathura, Khurja, Saharanpur, Moradabad and Gajraula. The status report on the pollution levels in the state's major cities were released at a workshop in Lucknow on Tuesday.

The air quality in Unnao, however, has come out as the cleanest despite a heavy presence of tanneries in the town. The amount of nitrogen-dioxide is found to be increasing dangerously in Meerut, Gorakhpur, Ghaziabad and Kanpur.

It is highest in Meerut and lowest in Rae Bareilly, the survey said. Sulphur-dioxide has been found mixed in the air at dangerous levels in Khurja and Ghaziabad. The presence of multi-pollutants has been found in cities like Mathura, Khurja and Ghaziabad. The study also revealed that in most cities, the manifold increase in the number of vehicles emerged as the leading source of pollution.

In the state capital Lucknow, Vikasnagar, Chowk, Amausi and Charbagh localities have been found to be pollution ‘hot spots.’ CSE said that serious and sustained efforts are needed to minimize the air pollution in these areas of the city.

It added that the growing use of diesel was a major contributor to the growing air pollution levels. CSE also said that emissions were leading to serious ailments and diseases like cancer.and besides all, poor traffic management and growing number of vehicles are also adding to the scourge, it said.