New Delhi is suffocating in smog, a crisis declared



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New Delhi is suffocating in smog, a crisis declared



At the Indian capital of New Delhi, atmospheric pollution has peaked, and authorities have declared a “sanitary crisis”.

This week, air quality has sharply deteriorated in that metropolitan city of twenty million people, which is why the pollution agency said Friday that a “sanitary crisis” had occurred that would “have fatal sanitary effects on everyone, especially children.”



Authorities have decided to close schools and construction sites by Tuesday. The use of firecrackers is prohibited throughout the winter.

The thick acidic smoke that has been engulfing New Delhi for days is mainly generated by the burning of debris after harvesting crops in the surrounding area and the wind brings it to the capital, one of the most polluted in the world.

By burning, which is not permitted by law, farmers clear the rice fields to prepare them for new sowing. These days, NASA satellite imagery could see thousands of active fires in the state of Punjab, northwest of the capital.

Every year, in the beginning of winter, cold, weak wind and human activity (burning fields, industrial and automobile emissions, heating stoves) transforms New Delhi into a “gas chamber” as it is often called by its leaders.

Prior to the pollution season, city authorities banned the use of diesel generators and introduced steam-to-steam driving from November 4 to 15. The local government announced last month that it would distribute 5 million protective masks to students.

In 2017, 1.2 million people died of air pollution in India ahead of time, according to a study published last year in The Lancet.

New Delhi is suffocating in smog, a crisis declared

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