Air Pollution in Delhi

Published: 11.21.2017
Level 5   |   Time: 3:25
Accent: Indian, British
BBC Global News Podcast (11.14.2017)

A BBC report about the growing air pollution in the capital of India, Delhi.


You can download the file [ HERE ].


triangle Directions

  1. REVIEW the vocabulary.
  2. LISTEN to the audio.
  3. ANSWER the questions.
  4. CHECK your answers (Show Answers)

triangle Vocabulary

  • equivalent [adj] - equal to
  • smog [n] - air pollution
  • streaming [v] - tears coming down your face
  • respiratory [adj] - related to breathing
  • an ailment [n] - sickness / illness
  • get around [phv] - move around
  • emissions [n] - pollutions from cars or factories
  • stubble [n] - the remaining plants after grain has been harvested
  • kick in [phv] - start
  • measures [n] - a plan or steps to achieve something
  • cut back [phv] - reduce
  • curtail [v] - reduce
  • scale back [phv] - reduce
  • primary schools [n] - school for young children (6 to 12 years old)
  • grades [n] - levels
  • signals [n] - traffic lights (green, yellow, red)
  • shantytowns [n] - a very poor area just outside a city
  • get on with [phv] - continue

[n] - noun,  [v] - verb,  [phv] - phrasal verb,  [adj] - adjective,  [exp] - expression

triangle Questions

  1. How bad is the air pollution in some districts of Delhi?
    200 times greater than the safe level
    equivalent to smoking 200 cigarettes per day
    the same as spending 200 days in Beijing

  2. What does one senior doctor compare the air pollution to?
    Smoking every day.
    Smoking a cigarette per day.
    Smoking 50 cigarettes per day.

  3. What are medical officials urging?
    Schools should be closed.
    People should smoke fewer cigarettes.
    Doctors should see more patients.

  4. What are some of the effects of the air pollution mentioned by the reporter?
    Visibility is limited in the city.
    It is painful to breath.
    The smog irritates people's eyes.
    The pollution is blackening buildings.

  5. Which city used to be rated the most polluted city in the world?
    New York
    Hong Kong

  6. What are some of the causes of the air pollution?
    coal power plants
    vehicle emissions
    forest fires
    farmers burning their fields outside the city

  7. What are some of the steps the government has taken to reduce air pollution?
    They have restricted farmers from burning fields.
    They have restricted car use.
    They have restricted the use of diesel generators.
    They have reduced the production from thermal power plants.

  8. What steps has Delhi taken with schools?
    Primary schools have been shut down.
    Middle schools have been shut down.
    High schools have been shut down.
    Outdoor activity has been restricted.

  9. What does the interviewer suggest as possible solutions for the people in Delhi?
    Staying at home.
    Leaving the city.
    Wearing masks.
    Buying air purifiers.

  10. What types of masks does the reported describe?
    simple and effective masks
    simple but ineffective masks
    complex and effective masks
    complex and expensive masks

  11. Who does the reporter say is common to see on the street?
    People wearing masks while running.
    Police officers wearing masks on the street.
    Drivers wearing masks in their cars.

  12. Who does the reporter say is suffering the most?
    police officers
    poor people
    school children

triangle Script

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.

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