Indian capital Delhi comes to a standstill after toxic smog envelops city
The Indian capital of New Delhi has quite literally turned into a "gas chamber". Don't believe me? Well, that's a direct quote from Delhi's Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal. The situation in the South Asian city has gotten so dire that the city came to an absolute standstill with offices and schools shut for the day and all flights being diverted because of low visibility.
Even Angela Merkel who usually stay quiet on issues pertaining to that of a country's own affairs has spoken up about the pollution crisis seen in the city after being exposed to the air yesterday, when authorities said the pollution had reached "emergency" levels.
At 11 am sensor after sensor across the NCR and Haryana is maxing out at 999. Stay indoors. Use a mask or sit next to an air purifier if you are lucky enough to have one. Pray for those who are homeless. pic.twitter.com/4zxhwF8C3s— Vikram Chandra (@vikramchandra) November 3, 2019
So how bad are the pollution levels exactly?
According to government-run monitoring agency System of Air Quality and Weather Forecasting and Research (SAFAR), the air quality index in the city was 625 and in the “severe” category at 12 pm.
To put things into perspective, an AQI of 0-50 is considered “good”, 51-100 “satisfactory”, 101-200 “moderate”, 201-300 “poor”, 301-400 “very poor” and 401-500 “severe”. An index above 500 falls in the “severe-plus emergency” category.
The Guardian reports that schools have now been closed until Tuesday, all construction has been ordered to stop and the government has organised for 5million masks to be handed out. But many residents say it's a little too late for the city inhabitants.
Fourteen Indian cities including the capital are among the world's top 15 most polluted cities, according to the United Nations.
Meanwhile, the country's cricket governing body, BCCI, has recieved massive criticism after it has allowed a T20i game between India and Bangladesh to go ahead.
AQI in Delhi 700+. 50 times WHO's safe limit. Anything over 150, doctors insist no physical activity & staying indoors lest it does permanent damage to the lungs. And we have 22 elite athletes playing, thousands watching, risking their health. A game of cricket can't be this imp.— Nikhil Naz (@NikhilNaz) November 3, 2019