Published: Tue, November 14, 2017
Medicine | By Douglas Stevenson

Smog shrouds Delhi as India's capital has 'become a gas chamber'

Smog shrouds Delhi as India's capital has 'become a gas chamber'

At 9:00 am, PM 10 Average Levels (24 Hourly) were recorded at 671 micro grams/m3 Counter, while PM 2.5 Average Levels (24 Hourly) were recorded at 441.7 micro grams/m3 Counter, as per Graded Response Action Plan (GRAP).

Directing all schools and all classes in the city to remain completely closed from tomorrow till Sunday, Delhi's Deputy CM Manish Sisodia said the situation will be reviewed on Sunday.

Levels of PM2.5 pollutants in New Delhi have hit 1,000mg this week, according to reports; to put this in context, 300mg is considered a highly unsafe amount. Besides hampering visibility on road, the situation has become a public health emergency. If you want to protect people, we should be ordering the evacuation of Delhi. "Closing down all offices".

Last November, the city's worst pollution in almost 20 years forced about a million children to miss school, while thousands of workers reported sick and people queued to buy face masks. The particles can be inhaled deep into the lungs, causing heart attacks, strokes, cancer and respiratory diseases.

Pollution in India's capital is stuck at extremely unsafe levels, at a time of year when such events are becoming all too common.

Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal, the leader of Delhi, called the capital a "gas chamber" earlier this week as his government sought urgent meetings with the federal government and neighboring states to find solutions.

As NCR chokes on bad air, other cities in the Northern part of India are also hit hard by the high concentrations of PM10 in the air.

Reducing transport activities, improving technologies and relocating traffic sources from crowded areas are some of the measures for better urban planning that can help Delhi combat rising air pollution, a leading health and medical research institute said on Friday.

Air pollution increases in the lead up to winter as at this time of year farmers in the neighbouring states of Punjab and Haryana burn their post-harvest crop stubble (despite the practice being officially banned), plus the cooler air traps pollutants near the ground.

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