NEW DELHI, November 6 (Reuters) – The Indian capital was blanketed in toxic air on Saturday as pollution levels remained dangerously high for a second day after revelers defied a fireworks ban during a great Hindu festival and that farmers in neighboring states burnt stubble.
New Delhi’s Comprehensive Air Quality Index (AQI) stood at 456 on a scale of 500, indicating “severe” pollution conditions that can affect healthy people and have a serious impact on people with existing illnesses.
The IQA measures the concentration of toxic PM2.5 particles, which can cause cardiovascular and respiratory diseases such as lung cancer, in one cubic meter of air.
On social media, some locals complained about the dangerous conditions in Delhi, which has the worst air quality of any world capital, often peaking at the start of winter.
“The pollution in Delhi makes it very difficult to live in this city. Or at least living here too long, ”resident Pratyush Singh said on Twitter. “We breathe smoke every day. The media will talk about it. The leaders will say they are fixing it. He will leave and come back next year. “
The poisonous air kills more than a million people every year in India and has an economic impact on the populated northern states of the country and the capital of 20 million people.
According to the Federal Ministry of Earth Sciences’ SAFAR monitoring system, current pollution levels in Delhi are the result of fireworks on the night of the Hindu festival of Diwali on Thursday and stubble burning in the surrounding agricultural belt.
Farmers in neighboring Punjab and Haryana states have set fire to post-harvest stubble this time of year to prepare their fields for the next harvest.
The situation is expected to improve in Delhi from Sunday evening, but the AQI will remain in the “very poor” category, which can trigger respiratory illnesses with prolonged exposure, SAFAR said in a statement on its website. website.
Reporting by Devjyot Ghoshal; Editing by William Mallard
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