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

    'Money can't buy us': Mapping Canada's oil pipeline battle

    'Money can't buy us': Mapping Canada's oil pipeline battle

    We travel more than 2,000km and visit communities along the route of the oil pipeline that cuts across Indigenous land.

    Women under ISIL: The wives

    Women under ISIL: The wives

    Women married to ISIL fighters share accounts of being made to watch executions and strap explosives to other women.

    Diplomats for sale: How an ambassadorship was bought and lost

    Diplomats for sale: How an ambassadorship was bought and lost

    The story of Ali Reza Monfared, the Iranian who tried to buy diplomatic immunity after embezzling millions of dollars.