A capital city gasps for breath

The banks of the Yamuna River at sunrise on a smoggy morning in New Delhi on Thursday.

India's national capital tops the list of Indian cities gasping for breath every year. Winters have become a time of health woes, when the city is covered with a toxic haze that obscures the sky and blocks sunlight. Pollution levels soar as farmers in neighbouring agricultural regions set fire to clear their land after harvests.

New Delhi enjoyed a respite from air pollution up until September, in part thanks to a Covid-19 lockdown. But with industrial activities resuming and cars back on the roads, air quality in the city has once again fallen to unhealthy levels.


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A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on October 31, 2020, with the headline 'A capital city gasps for breath'. Print Edition | Subscribe