Delhi chief minister Arvind Kejriwal called the capital, home to about 20 million people, a “gas chamber“ said on Thursday that his government would take decision on the odd-even road rationing scheme by “today or the day after” in its efforts to bring down pollution levels in the Capital.
Delhi authorities on Wednesday ordered all 6,000 schools to shut until Sunday after choking smog descended on the north of the country, while people with breathing difficulties have been told to stay indoors.
By mid-afternoon, the deadly level of carcinogenic pollutants in Delhi’s air was roughly 10 times the reading in Beijing, a city globally infamous for its air pollution. Experts are calling the situation in Delhi a major public health emergency. World Health Organization guidelines suggest exposure to levels of about 10, while anything less than 50 is considered healthy and levels above 300 are considered “hazardous.” At 2 p.m. Wednesday, Beijing had a level of around 76 while pollutants in Delhi’s air measured 833.