New Delhi, the capital of India, is a part of the National Capital Territory of Delhi (NCT) and has a population of over 28 million residents as of 2018. According to recent reports, the city is facing an annual air pollution crisis. On November 2, 2023, residents woke up to hazardous air quality throughout the region.
This is a direct consequence of crop burning, a practice where cultivated fields are burned to prepare the land for the next crop that led to toxic haze getting trapped. The Swiss air quality company IQAir observed a PM 2.5 concentration nearly 80 times higher than the World Health Organization’s recommended limit.
PM 2.5 particles consist of harmful pollutants that can negatively affect cognitive and immune functions, as well as contribute to lung and heart disorders. As a result, authorities have been forced to shut down schools and disrupt the ongoing cricket World Cup in efforts to contain the pollution crisis.
In June 2023, Incognito Blog reported a similar event in North America.