Mumbai: Chandrapur, in eastern Maharashtra, continues to be the most polluted city in the state. It is ranked fourth among the 20 cities with industrial clusters and responsible for the most pollution in India.

Other towns in Maharashtra that have made it onto the infamous list of worst polluters are Dombivili near Mumbai, and Aurangabad.

The list of worst polluters was released in a recent report by the Ministry of Environment and Forests.

The district of Chandrapur may be famous for its tiger reserves, lush green forests and beautiful rivers. However, it is also notorious for its levels of air pollution that pose a serious threat to public health and the environment.

Coal, cement and limestone mines, paper, as well as chemical and steel factories, rice mills and thermal power stations, have all contributed to the deterioration of air quality.

The coal mining industry being the main factor in the generation of coal dust emissions, leading to suspended particulate matter in those areas.

In addition, the traffic load at 105 major nodes in the district indicate that over 500 vehicles ply on the Nagpur-Chandrapur road every hour. Over 300 vehicles use Chandrapur's city main road an hour. This has led to vehicular pollution.

Nothing concrete has emerged from a March 2006 Environment Status and Action Plan for [the] Control of Pollution [in] Chandrapur. The plan was drawn up by the Maharashtra Pollution Control Board.