Delhi’s stubbornly toxic air

Delhi’s stubbornly toxic air
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A hazy day in Delhi this month.Money Sharma/Agence France-Presse — Getty Images

Islam News – A decade ago, the capitals of Asia’s two largest countries had some of the dirtiest skies in the world.

Beijing pressed ahead with a $100 billion effort to clean its air after China’s government declared war against pollution. Now, the city has 100 more days of clear skies each year.

But New Delhi still faces acrid, toxic air, as pollution from millions of vehicles and open fires used for heating and cooking fill the skies. This fall, the haze prompted officials to halt truck traffic, close schools and push for remote work.

Context: India — a huge, messy democracy — has lacked both political resolve and public pressure, and is less wealthy than China. Indian politicians use the crisis to attack each other instead of trying to find solutions.

Voters: Air pollution has been known to kill more Indians than any other risk factor. But voters ranked air quality as their 17th most urgent concern in a 2019 survey, well behind jobs, health care and infrastructure.

Source: The New York Times

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