Air pollution has reached extreme levels in the capital of India, Delhi. The level of pollution is so intense that only smoke exists in the air. 2 crore people are breathing in the smoke. The air quality index (AQI) exceeded 450 in many parts of the city. Almost all observatories in the capital recognized the situation as ‘serious’ and ‘dangerous’. It also called for the closure of schools. News from Reuters.

According to data from the country’s Central Pollution Control Board, the AQI crossed 450 in many places earlier in the day. The federal government says levels above 400 affect healthy people and are more severe in those with pre-existing conditions.

According to Delhi Pollution Control Board data, the index was above 800 in some parts of the city. The pollution in Delhi has been termed by progressives as a crime against humanity.

Every winter the world’s most polluted capital is shrouded in smog as winter, heavy wind traps, construction dust, vehicle emissions and smoke from crop stubble burning in neighboring states, low temperatures, calm winds and their changing direction degrade air quality from time to time.

Parents and environmentalists took to social media to demand the closure of the school.

Vimlendu Jha, the country’s environmental activist, wrote on Twitter, ‘I know children don’t vote for you, but still, request all Chief Ministers of Delhi (Capital Region) to close all schools immediately. Breathing at 500 plus AQI is not normal. Not more so for our children, where one in three children already has some form of lung disease.’

Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal said, ‘People of Punjab and Delhi are taking all steps at their level to tackle pollution.’

The capital has halted most construction and demolition activities this week to curb dust pollution. It also urged residents to share car and motorcycle rides, home office if possible and reduce the use of coal and firewood at home.

(3 November)