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Air pollution in India’s New Delhi turns extreme

Air pollution in India’s New Delhi turns extreme

Air pollution in India’s New Delhi turns extreme

Air pollution in India’s New Delhi turns extreme

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  • Air pollution in India’s New Delhi turns extreme.
  • New Delhi residents woke up to a dense layer of hazardous smog.
  • New Delhi claimed the top spot on a real-time list of the world’s most polluted cities.
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New Delhi residents woke up to a dense layer of hazardous smog on Friday, leading to the closure of some schools for two days as the air quality index (AQI) reached the “severe” category in various parts of the Indian capital.

The city grapples with a thick, noxious haze every winter as cold, stagnant air traps construction dust, vehicle emissions, and smoke from crop stubble burning in neighboring states, resulting in a surge in respiratory illnesses among its 20 million inhabitants.

Residents reported eye irritation, itchy throats, and the air turning a thick gray as the AQI hovered around 480 at some monitoring stations in the city on Friday.

An AQI rating of 0-50 is considered good, while a range of 400-500 affects healthy individuals and poses a danger to those with preexisting health conditions.

New Delhi claimed the top spot on a real-time list of the world’s most polluted cities on Friday, as per Swiss group IQAir, which categorized the city’s AQI at 611 in the ‘hazardous’ range.

According to the region’s Commission for Air Quality Management, a sudden increase in farm fire incidents, and north-westerly winds pushing pollutants toward Delhi were identified as the major factors for the abrupt spike in AQI unfavorable meteorological conditions.

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Authorities responded by instructing primary (elementary) schools to remain closed on Friday and Saturday, while most construction work in the region was suspended. Some suppliers of air purifier filters noted a shortage due to the sudden surge in demand.

This year, worsening air quality has cast a shadow over the cricket World Cup hosted by India, with the financial hub of Mumbai also experiencing a rise in pollution levels. Delhi is set to host a World Cup match on Monday between Bangladesh and Sri Lanka.

According to IQAir, Bhiwadi in northern India ranked as the country’s most polluted city and third globally in the previous year. New Delhi was fourth, while Pakistan’s Lahore and China’s Hotan claimed the top positions on the list.

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