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India-fog-pollution
AP Photo /Manish Swarup
See you next year.
BAD KARMA

Postcards from the world’s most polluted city

By Shelly Walia

Delhi’s winter is on its way out, and the sky—usually blanketed by fog brought about by the capital’s worrying levels of pollution—is regaining clarity.

Year after year, New Delhi grapples with dramatically worsening fog. Due to urbanisation and consequent increase in the levels of air pollution, fog days in winters have gone up in the last century.

The level of PM2.5 in Delhi—tiny, toxic particles that cause severe respiratory diseases—is the highest in the world. In May 2014, a study by the World Health Organisation ranked Delhi as the most polluted city on the planet.

The city’s air has become so toxic that US president Barack Obama’s recent three-day visit to the capital reportedly shortened his expected lifespan by six hours.

Following pictures of Delhi, some of them taken at the city’s iconic monuments, show how its 16 million inhabitants live with the world’s worst air.

AP Photo/Tsering Topgyal
A woman prays in the river Yamuna on a cold foggy morning in New Delhi.
Reuters/Anindito Mukherjee
Passengers crowd atop a train as they travel on a cold winter morning at a railway station in Ghaziabad on the outskirts of New Delhi.
AP Photo/Manish Swarup
A commuter waits near a bus stop amidst morning fog in New Delhi. In December, fog enveloped most areas and affected transport services.
Reuters/Adnan Abidi
Indian soldiers are silhouetted against a traffic signal light as they prepare to rehearse for the Republic Day parade on a foggy winter morning in New Delhi.
AP Photo/Tsering Topgyal
A man exercises as fog envelops a park in New Delhi.
AP Photo/Tsering Topgyal
Commuters make their way amidst morning fog in New Delhi, India.
Reuters/Ahmad Masood
Commuters walk along the road on a foggy winter morning in New Delhi.
AP Photo/Tsering Topgyal
A person walks to his office amidst morning fog in New Delhi.
AP Photo/Saurabh Das
A man exercises in a park on a cold foggy morning in New Delhi.
AP Photo/Tsering Topgyal
An Indian paramilitary force soldier watches army soldiers rehearse for the Republic Day parade amidst morning fog at India Gate, in New Delhi.
Reuters/Ahmad Masood
Indian soldiers walk before the start of their rehearsal for the Republic Day parade on a foggy winter morning in New Delhi.
Reuters/Adnan Abidi
An India’s Border Security Force “Daredevils” motorcycle rider performs during a rehearsal for the Republic Day parade on a foggy winter morning in New Delhi.

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