India is 'seriously' considering putting forward a bid to host the 2036 Olympic Games, said Anurag Thakur, the Union Minister of Youth Affairs and Sports. India has already hosted both the Asian Games and Common Wealth Games in previous years.
"If India is making news in every sector, from manufacturing to services, then why not in the field of sports? India is looking very seriously at bidding for the 2036 Olympics," Thakur said.
The Government has expressed their support for the Indian Olympic Association’s (IOA) bid for the 2036 Olympics considering the likelihood of Ahmedabad in Gujarat being the 'host city'.
However, despite hopes of bringing India under the spotlight of the sporting world, there may yet be a few hurdles to face. Pollution levels in India would bring forth major concerns from the International Olympic Committee (IOC).
Pollution Has Been a Major Concern When Considering Countries’ Hosting Bids
On 3 November 2013, when China placed a bid for the 2022 Winter Olympic Games, one of the promises made by the host country was to reduce pollution to 'Olympic-ready' levels by the time the games were to be hosted.
China worked for a decade to bring the pollution levels down to be able to host the event. And they managed to reduce it by 29%. After which in 2022 they were finally able to host the Olympics in Beijing.
Despite these efforts the pollution levels during the Olympics were still six times over the safe limit suggested by the World Health Organisation (WHO).
Where Does India Stand?
India is the third most polluted country in the world. This means India would need to ensure not only the infrastructure required to host the Olympic games but also take drastic steps towards reducing pollution levels within the next decade.
This needs to be done in order to create a safer environment for the athletes that will be competing.
As for the pollution levels of the potential 'host city', Ahmedabad, the industrial city of Gujarat. It is the most polluted city in the entire state.
Ahmedabad's Air Quality Index (AQI) has measured 'unhealthy' between 25 and 28 December 2022 according to IQ Air. The PM2.5 level was recorded to be 13 times over the WHO recommended levels, say reports.
India's promises to reduce pollution levels might make or break their ambition for hosting the 2036 Olympics.