Schools close as smog chokes India's 'gas chamber' capital

Northern India, including the country's capital New Delhi, and neighbouring Pakistan are facing a major air pollution crisis.

    Northern India, including the country's capital New Delhi, and neighbouring Pakistan are facing a major air pollution crisis that has disrupted the daily lives of many people and threatened their health significantly.

    New Delhi has temporarily closed 4,000 schools and will start to ban cars on certain days in a bid to combat the problem.

    A recent study found that pollution was linked to 2.5 million deaths in India in 2015 and New Delhi is its most polluted city. The air quality in the Indian capital is sitting at 40 times the World Health Organization's safe limit. Doctors say it is the same as smoking 50 cigarettes a day.

    How is smog formed?

    Smog results when a photochemical reaction takes place between air pollutants from crop burning, vehicles and others sources, and sunlight and heat. The resulting thick haze - also known as ground-level ozone - gets trapped near the earth due to warm air in the atmosphere. 

    The following graphic reflects the process of smog formation. 

    Smog in Delhi and Lahore


    YOU MIGHT ALSO LIKE

    Interactive: How does your country vote at the UN?

    Interactive: How does your country vote at the UN?

    Explore how your country voted on global issues since 1946, as the world gears up for the 74th UN General Assembly.

    'We were forced out by the government soldiers'

    'We were forced out by the government soldiers'

    We dialled more than 35,000 random phone numbers to paint an accurate picture of displacement across South Sudan.

    Interactive: Plundering Cambodia's forests

    Interactive: Plundering Cambodia's forests

    Meet the man on a mission to take down Cambodia's timber tycoons and expose a rampant illegal cross-border trade.