Cool weather traps smog over New Delhi
Cooler temperatures and light winds trapped heavy smog over the Indian capital yesterday, pushing pollution to severe levels in many places with no immediate relief in sight. The overall air quality index in New Delhi was 494, according to the monitoring agency Safar. The index measures the levels of airborne PM 2.5 – particles that can reach deep into the lungs. Anything above 60 is considered unhealthy. With the cool season setting in, the city was likely to suffer for weeks. “Now that it is getting colder, air is not rising high enough to disperse pollutants. The whole trapping is happening close to the ground,” said Anumita Roy Chowdhury, executive director at the Centre for Science and Environment in New Delhi.