Alarming. The most polluted world capital: Its residents are suffocating in smog
Thick smog blanketed India's capital New Delhi today as the situation worsened with the onset of winter.Source: Tanjug
Levels of particulate matter in the air, known as PM 2.5, are three times above acceptable limits.
The world's most polluted capital faces additional problems every winter as low temperatures and weak winds keep polluting particles closer to the ground, Reuters reports.
"As the minimum temperature decreases, fog will gradually appear, which is likely to increase during the early morning hours, leading to a worsening of the air quality index," the government's air quality monitoring agency said.
The air quality index in parts of the city rose above 400 today, which is classified as "severe" air pollution, authorities said. The Central Pollution Control Board said that during a measurement at 10:00 am in the National Capital Region, the level of PM 2.5 particulate matter reached 180, three times the recommended upper limit of 60.
Authorities have introduced several measures over the years to improve the city's air quality, including switching public transport vehicles to cleaner fuels and controlling the burning of firewood and waste during cold weather, but experts say these measures need to be implemented across northern India and in cities and towns around New Delhi and the wider capital region, in order to effectively control pollution, according to Reuters.