Bangladesh has been urged by the World Bank to clean up the air by coordinating more closely with its south Asian neighbours
A thick layer of smog has enveloped the capitals of India and Bangladesh, deteriorating the air quality index in both cities.
According to Swiss climate monitor IQAir, Dhaka briefly emerged as the world’s most polluted city on December 27, with an Air Quality Index (AQI) level of 325 which falls into the ‘hazardous’ category. But later, the conditions improved slightly, with the index dropping to 177, still in the “unhealthy” range.
The streets have been sprayed with water by city authorities to help the dust settle. But residents have called for greater efforts. Bangladesh has been urged by the World Bank to clean up the air by coordinating more closely with its south Asian neighbours.
Similarly, New Delhi, which often leads the world’s most polluted list, was also in the category of ‘very poor’ as its Air Quality Index (AQI) index on December 27 read 378, according to the Central Pollution Control Board.
Across north India and Delhi, more than 100 flights were delayed and rail services disrupted as visibility was severely impacted and reduced to barely 50 metres (164 feet) in some areas.
Delhi has been experiencing air quality in the range of ‘severe’ to ‘very poor’ over the last few weeks, according to news agency ANI. As a combination of local emissions, stubble burning, and low temperatures continues to contribute to severe air pollution, the chances of improvement in the air quality levels seems low.
The India Meteorological Department (IMD) has issued warnings of dense-to-very-dense-fog in Delhi and Uttar Pradesh from December 27 to 29. A similar condition is expected to persist for a longer time.
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