New Delhi; The most polluted city in the world. Pollution levels hit record in past few years
Pollution levels broke records in past years due to the burning of stubble in surrounding fields, emanations of vehicles and factories, all combined with falling temperatures.
The cooling of the air causes the polluting agents not to dissipate, plunging New Delhi under a suffocating cloud.
Air quality has worsened in recent years, reaching particularly high levels this fall.
The US embassy, equipped with specialized captors, has for several days reported contamination levels that are dangerous to the body, even to people in good health.
The legation registered a PM 2.5 fine particle rate – especially noxious – of 778 micrograms per cubic meter of air on Monday morning, while the World Health Organization recommends a daily average of 25 micrograms.
Pollution strikes all the inhabitants, rich and poor.
Manan Mahato, conductor of autorickshaw – a kind of taxi with three wheels – said to have sent his children to his native village to protect his health.
“Living in New Delhi has become too risky because of pollution,” he said, covering his mouth with a handkerchief.
The government of New Delhi announced Sunday the closure of schools for three days, the halting of construction works for five, as well as the temporary cessation of activity at a major coal-fired power plant.
The Executive Director of the Delhi Science and Environment Center, Anumita Roychowdhury, said that they are temporary measures “necessary to lower levels of pollution”, in what constitutes an “emergency situation”:
“But of course this cannot be permanent, you cannot forever lock people in the interior,” he warned.