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Air pollution levels in India's capital hit record high

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By Euronews
Air pollution levels in India's capital hit record high

<p>Tourists visiting the Indian capital face a new challenge. They can still visit landmarks such as Jama Masjid, the city’s Grand Mosque, but it is barely possible to see them through the thick smog.</p> <p>And as well as donning modest garments, visitors have started wearing masks, too.</p> <p>However, whilst they have the option to leave, locals are stuck breathing in the harmful particulates.</p> <h3>Schools closed</h3> <p>Over 4,000 schools in <a href="http://www.euronews.com/2017/11/10/delhi-air-pollution-hits-danger-levels">New Dehli</a> have been closed after levels of air pollution hit a record high.</p> <p>The <a href="http://aqicn.org/map/world/">Air Quality Index</a>, which measures the concentration of poisonous particulate matter in the air, stands at 614, over 6 times the level considered safe. The maximum reading on the scale is 500.</p> <p><blockquote class="twitter-tweet" data-lang="en"><p lang="en" dir="ltr">Check <a href="https://twitter.com/UrbanEmissions?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw"><code>UrbanEmissions</a> forecast for PM2.5 across India, and pay attention to the northern India (Indo-Gangetic Plain) <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/IndiaAQ?src=hash&ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">#IndiaAQ</a> <a href="https://t.co/ebCVKtEjKe">pic.twitter.com/ebCVKtEjKe</a></p>— Air Quality in India (</code>airqualityindia) <a href="https://twitter.com/airqualityindia/status/929533049129357312?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">November 12, 2017</a></blockquote><br /> <script async src="https://platform.twitter.com/widgets.js" charset="utf-8"></script></p> <p>“You can see if you run or if you cycle, the amount of pressure you have to exert to breathe in, is tremendously high,” explains local resident, Subhankar Tomar.</p> <h3>Chaos on the roads</h3> <p>On the roads, visibility is poor, and drivers struggle to make out the break lights of vehicles in front of them, causing accidents and several highway pile-ups.</p> <h3>A gas chamber</h3> <p>The dense smog, a combination of vehicle emissions, industrial pollution and crop burning, is packed even tighter together in the cold weather.</p> <p>However it is difficult to <a href="http://www.euronews.com/2017/10/23/new-london-emissions-charge-comes-into-force">regulate all these factors</a>, as India’s system of governance is highly decentralised.</p> <p><blockquote class="twitter-tweet" data-lang="en"><p lang="en" dir="ltr"><a href="https://t.co/HOWcv4DZXL">https://t.co/HOWcv4DZXL</a> Delhi is blanketed with toxic smog. Why? Here’s a quick summary of the politics.</p>— Julian Marshall (@MarshallJulian) <a href="https://twitter.com/MarshallJulian/status/929571177785204736?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">November 12, 2017</a></blockquote><br /> <script async src="https://platform.twitter.com/widgets.js" charset="utf-8"></script></p> <p>As the authorities struggle to get to grips with the problem, New Delhi’s chief minister has described the city as “a gas chamber.”</p>