No relief in sight as dangerous air pollution maintains grip on New Delhi, northern India

By Eric Leister, AccuWeather senior meteorologist
December 06, 2018, 6:43:18 AM EST

Air pollution continues to be a major concern across New Delhi and other locations across northern India as little improvement is expected into next week.

The pollution has been so bad that New Delhi was fined by the National Green Tribunal for failure to enforce laws limiting pollutants emitted by factories, according to Channel News Asia.

Despite efforts to limit pollution emissions such as heavy truck bans, reducing construction projects and shutting down power plants, pollution levels have continued to climb across the region and pose a serious risk to millions of people.

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Indians are forced to endure prolonged periods of dangerous air quality which leads to 1.1 million premature deaths each year.

Air quality levels reached hazardous levels in New Delhi once again on Thursday morning, according to information provided by System of Air Quality and Weather Forecasting and Research (SAFAR).

Exposure to this level of air pollution can result in serious aggravation of respiratory diseases and result in premature death in the elderly.

Other cities that have endured significant air quality problems in recent weeks include Mumbai, Lucknow and Kolkata.

West Bengal has also been fined in the past for failing to reduce high levels of air pollution, particularly in Kolkata.

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The World Health Organization announced a list of the top 20 most polluted cities earlier this year. The entire top 10 consisted of cities in northern India, with 14 of the top 20 being from the entire country.

No significant weather systems are forecast to affect northern India into next week, providing no relief from the ongoing pollution problems.

Storm systems that track far enough south can bring brief relief from extreme pollution during the winter months; however, these periods of lower air pollution are often limited to a few days before smog returns and air pollution returns to hazardous levels.

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