Smog continues to blanket Indian capital

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Delhi and all these 15 cities in Uttar Pradesh were found to have PM 10 levels much more than the global permissible limit of 20 micrograms per cubic meter (as per World Health Organization standards) and 60 (as per Indian standards), said the report.

Indian capital city New Delhi continues to remain enveloped for the second straight day and air quality index (AQI) remained severe.

At 6 a.m. local time, Delhi’s AQI read 480, while in the outskirts of Delhi, known as the national capital region (NCR), it stood at 445.

AQI reading between 0-50 is considered good, while between 400 and 500 are considered severe.

Health officials have asked the local Delhi government to stop outdoor activities and sports at schools in the morning because of the smog and urged elderly people to avoid morning walks.

In the wake of the warnings, on directions of the local government, all primary schools in the city were closed on Wednesday.

The deadly smog chocks air causing breathlessness and lung difficulties, besides badly affecting the visibility.

Delhi is considered to be the most polluted city in the world. Last year the city’s high court described the capital as a “gas chamber.”

Authorities have urged citizens to avoid burning dry leaves, crop residue in and around the city. It has also urged people to encourage carpooling and use of public transport, to cut down on vehicular emissions.

Air pollution is a leading cause of premature death in India. Pollution in Delhi gets aggravated during winter months. Ahead of winters, people burn agricultural waste to clear cropland, which contributes to the choking of already polluted air.

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