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Smog Haunts Delhi as Air Quality Continues to Deteriorate, Reaching Emergency Levels

© AP Photo / Manish SwarupCyclist pedal through the morning smog a day after Diwali festival, in New Delhi, India, Friday, Oct. 20, 2017
Cyclist pedal through the morning smog a day after Diwali festival, in New Delhi, India, Friday, Oct. 20, 2017 - Sputnik International
Delhi's infamous, dreaded air pollution has returned, and air quality has plummeted as farmers in adjoining Indian states continued to burn agricultural waste in huge quantities amid falling temperatures.

Around 30 million people in India’s national capital Delhi woke up to a grey morning as a thick blanket of smog enveloped the city on Wednesday, nearing "emergency" levels.

Pollution levels shot up to “Hazardous” according to the Air Quality Index (AQI), a level when residents may start experiencing more serious health issues, hovering over the 517 mark in parts of Delhi and adjoining regions.

It is the sixth consecutive day Delhi has recorded severe category air pollution. On Tuesday, the city hit the "Emergency" mark, with some areas reporting an AQI as high as 735 – the highest so far.

The visibility in the air also reduced significantly due to dense smog and low air pressure.

Several exasperated residents took to Twitter to show the scary yearly scenario in Delhi. The smog has left many Delhi residents with irritated eyes, itchy throats and frequent headaches.

The Delhi state government has been taking several measures to battle the pollution crisis in the city, including launching a ‘Green War Room’, the mobile application “Green Delhi”, an anti-dust drive, and the installation of anti-smog guns.

The air pollution poses a graver threat to residents of Delhi's smog-affected areas amid the ongoing coronavirus pandemic, with health experts suggesting that the combination of Covid-19 and air pollution could lead to more severe symptoms.

The people in Delhi are unable to breathe clean air for most of the year as the environmental condition in India is typically poor. According to a Greenpeace and AirVisual analysis of air pollution, issued in March 2019, 22 out of the 30 worst cities in the world in terms of air pollution are located in India.

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