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New Delhi air pollution reaches alarming levels

384648_India-Gate

The high level of air pollution in New Delhi has rung the alarm bells as people in the Indian capital are facing breathing difficulties, Press TV reports.

Many agencies have recently issued health warnings for New Delhi residents, including the most vulnerable such as the elderly and children.

Anumita Roychowdhury, a member of the Delhi Center for Science and Environment, said the air pollution levels in different cities of India are rising.

“More than half of Indian cities today are classified as critically polluted cities even by the government,” Roychowdhury added.

People living in areas registered with the highest level of particulate matter face ongoing health threats including heart attack and lung cancer, experts warn.

The Indian government has been encouraged to overhaul its policies on air pollution.

“Over the last ten years, there was an early phase where a lot of action was initiated. We did see some change and improvement in the air quality during the last decade, but in the last few years, if you look at the data again, you find that whatever we gained from the first phase of action is lost,” Roychowdhury said.

In 2001, the government introduced compressed natural gas (CNG) to be used in public transport vehicles. The measure worked out well for a few years, but it remains difficult to give a satisfactory assessment of air quality in the capital.

New Delhi has amassed more vehicles than the total number in the three other large cities of the country, namely Mumbai, Kolkata and Chennai.

A new study by the World Health Organization suggested that India is home to the most polluted cities in the world.

New Delhi has the world’s highest annual average concentration of small airborne particles, the study showed.

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