A BBC report about the growing air pollution in the capital of India, Delhi.
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A public health emergency has been declared in the Indian capital Delhi with air pollution reaching nearly 200 times the safe level in some districts. Medical officials have urged that schools be closed and one seed your doctor says current pollution levels evident is working 50 cigarettes a day. Tim Frank spoofed the BBC's sanja agenda who's in Delhi.
First of all you see around you is this thick grey blanket of smog the tops of buildings are barely visible. If you were in the centre of town as there was. You can just about make out the outlines of some of the buildings in the distance. What's even worse is more than the way it looks. It's the way you feel when you start breathing in. You feel the sort of burning sensation of the back of your throat your chest starts getting constricted. In some cases your eyes can start streaming. So if you have any kind of breathing difficulty any kind of even simple respiratory ailment. It's just absolutely dangerous for you to be outside and even if you're fairly healthy it's quite difficult to get around.
What's caused it. Well it's a number of reasons really I mean Delhi is known as one of the world's most polluted cities. Worse than Beijing which used to have that honour. It's primarily emissions caused by vehicles diesel emissions emissions from coal fired power plants. But there's also a particular problem that Daley faces is that at this time of the year in the countryside around us north of us farmers start burning off the leftover stubble in their fields to prepare the field for the new crop. And that generates a huge amount of smoke which slowly drifts down towards us and just adds to the overall misery.
What are the authorities doing about it.
Well there's been a fair bit of criticism because it's something we face every single year and in fact leading up to these these last few days they had kicked in a few measures. They tried to cut back on the burning of stubble if curtail the use of diesel generator said. They've tried to get thermal power plants to scale back their operations. Clearly none of this has worked given the levels of emissions we've seen in some parts of the city. There's something like 20 to 30 times the prescribed World Health Organization safe limit what they've now decided to do is with immediate effect ask all primary schools to shut down other schools would continue for the time being but no outer activities so nothing the playground at all. And then looking ahead there trying to see if they need to take in more measures such as limiting the number of vehicles out on the streets.
And what do people do. I mean you talked about primary schools being shut down. I mean presumably they can't be shut down for the whole of the winter. Do people as in China do they go out with facemasks do they have. Can they afford air purifiers for their homes in their apartments.
Well as you say I mean people do buy facemasks. They've become incredibly popular and of course there are various grades so they're the simple ones which don't really do much and then there are fairly complex ones which cost a lot more. It's quite a common sight now to see traffic policemen for instance signals with their face completely covered with some kind of mask. As always the people who really suffer the more so other people lower down the economic scale people who live in sort of lower middle class or working class household or in many shantytowns that you find in and around the city who have absolutely no option but to just get on with their lives and hope for the best.
Joanna Jammed in Delhi.