Advertisement
World & Nation

19 photos show just how bad the air pollution is right now in New Delhi

TOPSHOT-INDIA-ENVIRONMENT-POLLUTION-SMOG
Indian visitors walk through the courtyard of Jama Masjid mosque amid heavy smog in New Delhi.
(Sajjad Hussain / AFP/Getty Images)

The thick, toxic smog enveloping New Delhi this week has closed schools, snarled traffic and postponed sporting events.

New Delhi’s chief minister Arvind Kejriwal tweeted that the megacity of 20 million people had become a “gas chamber,” blaming the air pollution on crop burning in neighboring Indian states.

New Delhi’s toxic smog even beats Beijing’s globally infamous pollution, with the deadly level of carcinogenic pollutants in the Indian capital’s air roughly 10 times the reading in the Chinese capital. Government officials say the city’s pollution levels in recent days have hit 30 times the World Health Organization’s safe level. The Indian Medical Assn. has appealed to the government to declare a “public health emergency.”

Advertisement

Northern India is often covered by a thick, soupy smog as winter approaches, caused by a combination of crop burning, construction dust, factory emissions and garbage fires. Low temperatures and low wind speeds make the problem worse.

Based on data from 2011 to 2015, WHO named Delhi the world’s most polluted mega-city, topping Mumbai, Cairo and Kolkata, India. Illnesses tied to pollution claimed the lives of as many as 2.5 million Indian people in 2015, according to a study by the Lancet medical journal.

INDIA-ENVIRONMENT-POLLUTION
Indian commuters ride amid heavy smog in New Delhi.
(Prakash Singh / AFP/Getty Images )
INDIA-ENVIRONMENT-POLLUTION-SMOG
An Indian rag-picker walks amid heavy smog in New Delhi.
(Sajjad Hussain / AFP/Getty Images )

Advertisement

INDIA-ENVIRONMENT-POLLUTION-SMOG
An Indian policeman tries to fend off the polluted air with a handkerchief.
(Sajjad Hussain / AFP/Getty Images )
INDIA-ENVIRONMENT-POLLUTION-SMOG
Indian visitors sit on the steps outside Jama Masjid amid heavy smog in New Delhi.
(Sajjad Hussain / AFP/Getty Images )
INDIA-ENVIRONMENT-POLLUTION-SMOG
Indian laborers work on a construction site in New Delhi.
(Dominique Faget / AFP/Getty Images )
INDIA-ENVIRONMENT-POLLUTION-SMOG
An Indian schoolgirl covers her face with a handkerchief amid heavy smog in New Delhi.
(Sajjad Hussain / AFP/Getty Images )
INDIA-ENVIRONMENT-POLLUTION-SMOG
An Indian sweeper cleans a road amid heavy smog in New Delhi.
(Sajjad Hussain / AFP/Getty Images )
TOPSHOT-INDIA-ENVIRONMENT-POLLUTION
Smog obscures India Gate, a war memorial in New Delhi.
(Sajjad Hussain / AFP/Getty Images )
TOPSHOT-INDIA-ENVIRONMENT-POLLUTION-SMOG
Delhi shut all primary schools as pollution levels hit nearly 30 times the World Health Organization safe level.
(Sajjad Hussain / AFP/Getty Images )
TOPSHOT-INDIA-ENVIRONMENT-POLLUTION-SMOG
A homeless Indian sits on a road median amid heavy smog in New Delhi.
(Sajjad Hussain / AFP/Getty Images )
Advertisement

TOPSHOT-INDIA-POLLUTION
A Nihang, or traditional Sikh army member, crosses railway tracks amid dense smog near Amritsar railway station.
(Narinder Nanu / AFP/Getty Images )
TOPSHOT-INDIA-POLLUTION-ENVIRONMENT
Heavy smog and fog conditions also reached the outskirts of Amritsar, a city in northwestern India.
(Narinder Nanu / AFP/Getty Images )
TOPSHOT-INDIA-POLLUTION-SMOG
Traffic moves through heavy smog in Faridabad, a suburb of New Delhi.
(Money Sharma / AFP/Getty Images )
Cows stand by the side of a road as a truck drives with lights on through smog in Greater Noida, nea
Animals as well as humans endured the smog in Greater Noida, near New Delhi.
(R. S. Iyer / Associated Press )
New Delhi struggles with heavily polluted air, India - 07 Nov 2017
Rajpath Avenue is engulfed in smog near President House, the official residence of the Indian president in New Delhi.
(EPA/Shutterstock )
New Delhi struggles with heavily polluted air, India - 08 Nov 2017
A man meditates as the Lodhi garden is engulfed in heavy smog in New Delhi.
(Rajat Gupta / EPA/Shutterstock )
New Delhi struggles with heavily polluted air, India - 08 Nov 2017
Undeterred by the smog and smoke, a woman performs yoga in the Lodhi garden in New Delhi.
(Rajat Gupta / EPA/Shutterstock )
New Delhi struggles with heavily polluted air, India - 08 Nov 2017
A man exercises in the Lodhi garden in New Delhi.
(Rajat Gupta / EPA/Shutterstock )
Advertisement

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

ALSO

‘The Diary of Anne Frank’ rings out at Italian soccer games in response to anti-Semitism

In Paris falafel war, it’s neighbor vs. neighbor in the city’s changing Jewish quarter

A movie about a czar’s love affair ignites violent protest from Russia’s religious right


Newsletter
Get our Today's Headlines newsletter
Advertisement