Saturday, November 05, 2016

Emergency meeting called over New Delhi 'gas chamber' smog

India's environmental officials planned an emergency meeting as a thick blanket of smog continued to cover New Delhi on Saturday, one day after nearly 2,000 public schools were closed from unprecedented air pollution levels.

Environmental ministers will meet Monday to discuss the air pollution in New Delhi, the worst in 17 years produced from a combination of smoke from Diwali festival fireworks, dust and vehicle emissions.

Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal said the biggest source of the smog is from burning crops in Punjab and Haryana.

"Pollution has increased to an extent that outdoors in Delhi are resembling a gas chamber. Prima facie the biggest reason seems to be burning of stubble in agricultural fields in Haryana and Punjab in huge quantity," he said.

On Friday, some one million school children were forced out of schools when the smog became toxic. Breathing the dangerous air particles have been equated to smoking 40 cigarettes a day. Schools will remain closed on Monday.


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