Follow Slashdot blog updates by subscribing to our blog RSS feed

 



Forgot your password?
typodupeerror
Science

India's New Delhi Now Most Polluted City on Earth, Air Quality Well Beyond 'Hazardous' Level (cnn.com) 137

New Delhi residents are suffocating only to find little to no relief. The city, as well as much of Northern India, home of over 400 million people, is blanketed by a thick layer of smog. The air quality has severely depreciated, hitting alarming 1,000 AQI PM2.5 level -- over 15 times of the safe limit. The air quality index hasn't gone down 400 reading, which is considered hazardous. From a report on CNN: Measurements taken at the US Embassy in Delhi put the city's Air Quality Index at 999 on Monday, off the standard chart, which finishes at the "hazardous" level of 500. By comparison, the highest AQI level recorded Monday in Baoding -- China's most polluted city -- was 298. Beijing was a pleasant 30, while India's next most polluted city, coal and industry-heavy Chandrapur, recorded levels of 824, according to the World Air Quality Index. Research released earlier this year found that air quality levels exceed World Health Organizations guidelines for 80% of those living in urban areas around the world.Though Delhi has been one of the most polluted cities for decades, burning of tens of millions of crop stubbles in the recent months and the Hindu festival of Diwali (which sees many people set off fireworks) have been held responsible for the severe air quality.
This discussion has been archived. No new comments can be posted.

India's New Delhi Now Most Polluted City on Earth, Air Quality Well Beyond 'Hazardous' Level

Comments Filter:
  • by kamapuaa ( 555446 ) on Monday November 07, 2016 @04:03PM (#53231889) Homepage

    Story is too vague. What kind of crackers do they burn? Oyster crackers? Saltines?

    • This was my question. I'm imagining saltines. I've never tried to burn one, but I imagine it would release a lot of particles.

    • The crackers thing is BS. Delhi has the pollution that it does due to both the number of cars/buses/trucks/... as well as the factories. The crackers are 1, maybe 2 days in a year, which would do squat in terms of pollution. Not to mention that in India, a lot of people have been moving away from fireworks under the pretext of being more eco-friendly.

      • by Geoffrey.landis ( 926948 ) on Monday November 07, 2016 @04:58PM (#53232415) Homepage

        The crackers thing is BS. Delhi has the pollution that it does due to both the number of cars/buses/trucks/... as well as the factories. The crackers are 1, maybe 2 days in a year, which would do squat in terms of pollution. Not to mention that in India, a lot of people have been moving away from fireworks under the pretext of being more eco-friendly.

        And, in fact, the actual story says that the problem is not Diwali fireworks:
        "images published by NASA suggest that burning of crops in the neighboring states of Punjab and Haryana could be the biggest reason why the air quality in the world’s most polluted city refuses to clear."
        With a link to a NYT article discussing it here: http://www.nytimes.com/2016/11... [nytimes.com]
        and to interesting satellite images on the NASA website [nasa.gov]

    • I hope that is sarcasm but if it is not, the crackers here mean fireworks. (I am sarcasm impaired btw)
    • The "crackers" appears to be replaced by "fireworks" by the time I got here. What I want to know is WTF: "The air quality index hasn't gone down 400 reading, which is considered hazardous." Gone down 400 reading?

  • by Bender Unit 22 ( 216955 ) on Monday November 07, 2016 @04:07PM (#53231923) Journal

    It's a filthy, polluted hell hole, but their outsourcing services are cheap! So it is all good. God forbid they would raise their prices and improve their living standards.

  • by theArtificial ( 613980 ) on Monday November 07, 2016 @04:22PM (#53232079)
    Somewhat related, a fascinating set of images from a Chinese tourist trip to India [chinasmack.com].
    • My god that is terrible and disgusting. I try to be tolerant and respectful towards different cultures and their quirks, but there is nothing cultured or civilized about living under those conditions. That is like hell. A culture that tolerates and even encourages that kind of behavior is sick and should be reformed.

      • My god that is terrible and disgusting. I try to be tolerant and respectful towards different cultures and their quirks, but there is nothing cultured or civilized about living under those conditions. That is like hell. A culture that tolerates and even encourages that kind of behavior is sick and should be reformed.

        This is not some India specific thing. London in 1952 lost 4000 people in 1952, Donora Pennsylvania lost 40, but endured a longtime increased death rate in 1948.

        If you really want to have coal and Diesel as your primary power sources, people gonna die. No one cares of course, until it's their child slowly drowning in front of them.

        • by swb ( 14022 )

          I doubt London has seen dead bodies and dead cows floating down the Thames in those numbers in over a century, maybe longer.

          • Not just dead bodies and cows flowing down the river, but also decomposing by the shore, getting eaten by wild dogs while people bathe in and drink that very same water with the decomposing corpses floating just a few meters away from them!

            • I've been told the 'Sacred Ganges' has special oxygen that makes the water pure, no matter what.

              Of course it's nonsense. But don't have this discussion with a Hindu unless you want to be lied to.

              • by ghoul ( 157158 )

                Oh most educated HIndus will not drink water from the ganges. its really dirty. The govt is trying to clean it up via the Ganga Action Plan but its struggling to keep up with the large population. It seems as soon as you end up educating the current batch its not a good idea to throw stuff into rivers, another batch of migrants come from smaller villages far away from the river who have grown up on stories of how great the river is. And during the monsoon all the stuff does get washed away and for a month t

                • by Clsid ( 564627 )

                  And then you will wonder why Pakistan will threaten you to send you a nuke. I don't even want to imagine the nationalist idiot thought it was a good idea to restrict the water supply of a whole country.

                  Arthur C. Clarke was right, future wars will be about water.

            • India used to have a large population of vultures which took good care of the corpse problem. Unfortunately diclofenac poisoned almost all of their vultures. I shit you not, they have lost over 99% of the vulture population inside a decade, going from being basically the most abundand bird of prey in the world to being critically endangered with only a few hundred birds still alive.

          • I doubt London has seen dead bodies and dead cows floating down the Thames in those numbers in over a century, maybe longer.

            Oh yeah. My main commentary was about the air pollution and what it can do.

            Not that utterly disgusting habit of bathing in corpse laden sewage.

        • There are many beautiful places in India featuring the remnants of past Kingdoms which illuminate art, technology, strife and innovation. The images depict life without sewer systems, which aren't coal or diesel powered, and poverty. Western nations do have their share of problems, the lack of sanitation systems and indoor plumbing, are not one which affects a significant number. Underscoring the severity of this issue recently there was a national campaign about poo in the loo [youtube.com].
        • by caseih ( 160668 )

          Except the crazy air pollution is not all coal and diesel. The reason it's so bad right now is that farmers are burning stubble fields (was once a common practice in the west as well). We're talking hundreds of thousands of acres. Farming practices that don't involve burning stubble have not taken hold because farmers are very poor there and cannot afford the equipment that would allow zero-till or minimal till planting.

          I'm sure it's still bad with all the cars and trucks, though. But this is an especial

          • No one cares? I wouldn't say that. A lot of people care. I'm sure the farmers also care, but feel trapped by economic circumstances. And the citizens of New Delhi certainly care as well, as you'd know if you read the article. Individually, their power to change things is extremely limited, other than to protest and urge the government to use its collective power to help in some way (like modernize the farming infrastructure).

            One very important consideration is the religion aspect.

            I'm dealing in generalities here, so everyone can spare me the "not everyone is" comments.

            One of the interesting aspects of religion is that so many of them have a "so what" escape clause. a couple examples are the immortal soul aspect of the abrahamic religions, and the reincarnation aspect of Hinduism, Buddhism, and Sikhs and Jains.

            It all boils down to "so what? I'll be in Heaven worshipping God for eternity" or "So what, I'll be reincarnated

    • Those pictures make me think of this bit from Atlas Shrugged.

      You, who claim that you long to rise above the crude concerns of the body, above the drudgery of serving mere physical needs—who is enslaved by physical needs: the Hindu who labors from sunrise to sunset at the shafts of a hand-plow for a bowl of rice, or the American who is driving a tractor? Who is the conqueror of physical reality: the man who sleeps on a bed of nails or the man who sleeps on an inner-spring mattress? Which is the monume

    • Absolutely terrible. NSFL.
      I have no idea who can defend something like this.

  • by seoras ( 147590 ) on Monday November 07, 2016 @04:28PM (#53232141)

    I used to marvel at the brown smog that hung over Californian cities like the SF Bay and LA. You can only really see it from afar. Then I landed in New Delhi....
    New Delhi is so bad you can't see down the length of a short street for the brown fog that seems to permanently hang over the place.
    I got a bit of a sore throat too.
    Would I go back to New Delhi?
    In a heart beat. Lovely people, the Indians, food was superb and I had a few good nights out there.
    The best thing about New Delhi is that it's an hour or two in a coach bus to Agra and the Taj Mahal as well as many other beautiful historical buildings.
    I'd sooner spend a long weekend in New Delhi than the SF Bay or LA (you won't run into any DJT supporters in ND either)

    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by Anonymous Coward

      Love your ability to make even a post about India a chance to jab at people who don't believe the same as you. Great job.

      • Besides, if there were 'DJT' supporters in LA or SF, CA would be in play, in which case, he'd have a much wider path to victory. Also, anywhere outside the US, you won't find many supporters of someone who wants to put 'America First', but that being said, one of his sons does have a joint venture in India w/ a politician from the ruling BJP. So GP may find more DJT supporters in ND than in LA or SF
    • by khr ( 708262 )

      The best thing about New Delhi is that it's an hour or two in a coach bus to Agra and the Taj Mahal

      I think the best thing about Delhi is Hauz Khas, which is, of course, a beautiful historical building, within Delhi. Or a few old ones together. Quiet, somewhat run down and a peaceful spot in a city of awesome chaos.

      The flip side is the horrendous air pollution, nonstop coughing for nine to ten days (the lengths of the trips I had there), leading to some of the worst nosebleeds I've had in my life.

      • Wow. A beautiful building? But lots of coughing and nosebleeds? Sounds lovely. Seriously?
      • I think the best thing about Delhi is Hauz Khas, which is, of course, a beautiful historical building, within Delhi.

        I think the best thing about Delhi is that I don't have to fucking live there.

        Frankly it sounds dreadful. Overcrowded, hot, filthy, polluted, much of the water comes from illegal wells on the banks of the (polluted) Yamuna River, toilets are not commonplace, food prep is about as unsanitary as it gets....yeah, gosh, what's not to like about that?

        New Dehli makes Phnom Penh look like a space-age wonderland. (And I actually like Phnom Penh, most of the time.)

    • Would I go back to New Delhi?
      In a heart beat.

      No, you wouldn't, otherwise you would have already left. The truth is that you have built-up a fantasy of what life in New Delhi is like and actually living there would shatter that fantasy with cold buckets of reality.

      I'd sooner spend a long weekend in New Delhi than the SF Bay or LA

      Ha! A single weekend is misrepresentative, go live there.

    • " (you won't run into any DJT supporters in ND either)"

      You forgot about Narendra Modi:
      https://www.quora.com/Is-Donal... [quora.com]

      • Narendra Modi has more in common w/ Ted Cruz than Trump. He is pious, very ideological (unlike Trump, who is transactional), and very much a (BJP) establishment figure. He was the longest serving Chief Minister of Gujarat before he became Prime Minister. His election would more resemble a Scott Walker or Mike Huckabee being elected President - both governors of their states multiple times, and enjoy wide establishment party support. The biggest beef that people who are not Liberals have against Trump is
    • Would I go back to New Delhi?
      In a heart beat.

      Then fucking go, no one is stopping you. But you're living somewhere else because it's better than New Delhi. And that's why you haven't gone back.

    • I used to marvel at the brown smog that hung over Californian cities like the SF Bay and LA. You can only really see it from afar. Then I landed in New Delhi.... New Delhi is so bad you can't see down the length of a short street for the brown fog that seems to permanently hang over the place. I got a bit of a sore throat too. Would I go back to New Delhi? In a heart beat.

      As long as you accept that you are probably going to die sooner than otherwise.

    • I used to marvel at the brown smog that hung over Californian cities like the SF Bay and LA.

      I take it, then, that you haven't actually visited LA in the last several decades. Because of high and well enforced emission standards and required gas additives, the air in LA is considerably cleaner than it was in the 50's and 60's. Back in 1978, you could rarely see the mountains at the east end of the San Fernando Valley if you were looking from the central part; now, it's remarkable if you can't see it fro
    • Man, a lot of people losing their minds due to your post for some undefinable reason.
      Anyway, thanks for the post, was informative.
      • by seoras ( 147590 )

        Your welcome! :)

        Oh my, I did touch a nerve with my comparison didn't I? :)

        Some more info on me. I'm white, Scottish and my mother comes from the same Hebridean Island as DJ's "mom" comes from.
        I've lived, and worked, in the SF Bay for a number of years. I've only been to New Delhi once, regrettably.
        Could not settled in the US due to the element of US society that today is supporting Trump.
        Shame, beautiful country and I made some great friends there too.

        "Disgusting", is how Trump describes the living conditio

        • by Clsid ( 564627 )

          Well, you should get off your high horse there. People with power tend to abuse most of the time. The UK, with the Scottish included are no different, hell they make somebody like Trump feel like Mother Teresa.

          I do agree that we have to fight for our rights, but not settling in the US for a politician is very stupid, more so, when people in the US really could not care less about politics in general.

          Go enjoy your rotten corpses and get diarrhea in India with their food. That is the real smell you are going

    • by Clsid ( 564627 )

      New Delhi over the SF Bay Area? I don't know about you, but there is nothing enjoyable about seeing rotting corpses in a river, regardless if you are bathing in there or not. The levels of savagery that are seen in India with rape, social injustice, bad hygiene and filthiness and miserable wages should make you think twice about going there. Of course, in those dire situations, a lot of people turn to religion because clearly your reality is hell itself and then foreigners go and are wowed by the spirituali

  • by allquixotic ( 1659805 ) on Monday November 07, 2016 @04:31PM (#53232171)

    http://www.albartlett.org/pres... [albartlett.org]

    Either we choose from the list of ways to solve the population problem, or nature will choose for us. India is grossly overpopulated. Nature is running its course. You cannot build a society, a philosophy, a religion, a way of life that's built around reproducing as quickly and exponentially as possible while discovering new resources (land, energy) at a rate slower than exponential. The math doesn't work.

    Their next strategy is to try and spill over into the other less-overpopulated parts of the world and make *those* places just as overpopulated as India, if not more. They just don't seem to get it.

    • by ghoul ( 157158 ) on Monday November 07, 2016 @04:49PM (#53232327)

      India has now hit replacement level 2.1 children per woman. Most of India is still pretty empty (at least emptier than Europe). The problem is in the megacities. Most of the jobs are being produced in only 3 cities Delhi, Bombay and Bangalore and over 1 million people migrate from smaller towns to these cities every year so its a continuous fight for infrastructure to catch up.
      What needs to be done is build more newer cities and job opportunities in them (cheaper outsourcing anyone?) so the infrastructure in the bigger cities gets a chance to catch up.
      BTW your quip on populating the less populated parts of the world like USA is unjustified. The Indian govt has been blasting the population control message for 2 generations now and the educated people who migrate to USA have 1 or 2 kids at most. On the other hand I have seen many white Christian or white Jewish families in the US with 3,4,5 even 6 children and these are people with Computer Engineering degrees not farmers. So if its a cultural or religious thing Hindus from India is not where you should be looking.

      • by allcoolnameswheretak ( 1102727 ) on Monday November 07, 2016 @05:11PM (#53232521)

        Most of India is still pretty empty (at least emptier than Europe)

        Yet the population density of Europe is 112 per square km, versus 404 per square km for India.

      • Actually India's fertility rate is around 2.4 [wikipedia.org]. But this is replacement level for India. (And it's still dropping year by year.)

        In developed countries 2.1 is considered replacement level, not 2.0, because some people die as children or young adults and do not fulfill their expected fertility. But in India more people die at young ages, so the replacement level is higher. The worldwide replacement level has been calculated to be 2.33 [wikipedia.org], so 2.4 seems like a good guess for India.

      • What needs to be done is build more newer cities and job opportunities in them (cheaper outsourcing anyone?) so the infrastructure in the bigger cities gets a chance to catch up.

        That's one way to do it. Another is to look at what's causing the emissions upwind and curb them. Could be power plants. Could be dirt roads. Could be the burning of all the litter/household trash. Could be two stroke engines. Now do two things: 1. implement (stricter) standards on pollutants for new equipment, and 2. work on retrofitting existing equipment to tighter emissions standards.

        You don't need a new city to require motorcycles that pollute less or to improve the electric grid to burn less coal i

        • by ghoul ( 157158 )

          The problem is the federal structure of India. Delhi actually has very clean public transport with it being the first city in the world to go to all Natural gas public transport and a very large metro system (growing very fast with it projected to be bigger than the Tube in 4 years). Most of the smoke is coming from burning of farm waste in Punjab and Haryana which are 2 separate states whose govts dont really care if their burning is creating smog in Delhi. As their natural levels are much lower a little e

      • "Most of the jobs are being produced in only 3 cities Delhi, Bombay and Bangalore and over 1 million people migrate from smaller towns"

        No. most of the new jobs are being produced in Los Angeles, Chicago and the Bay Area. That's where all people migrating from smaller Indian towns are headed for.

    • You must be american.
      No clue about geography?
      India and overpopulated? Har Har Har Har!
      One of the most retarded comments on /. this year.
      (*facepalm*)

      • Can't tell if trolling or just stupid...

        "you must be american" --> Well don't let *facts* get in the way of your discrimination against people from a particular country:

        India has a land area of 2.87 million km^2. 1.2 billion people live there.

        The U.S. has a land area of 9.83 million km^2. 328 million people live there.

        If the implication of your comment "you must be american" is that my country is more overpopulated than India, it's going to be fairly hard to convince me of that, when we have many times m

        • by ghoul ( 157158 )

          What you forget is land area is not everything otherwise Canadians would think USA is horribly overpopulated. Look at the CIA fact book and look at the arable land percentage. India has one of the highest percentage in the world- its a really fertile place which is why it has always supported a high population density throughout history. Historically the population of India has always been higher than the population of Europe. USA may be 3 times bigger but a lot of it is Desert, mountains and forests. If yo

          • Look at the CIA fact book and look at the arable land percentage.

            Wikipedia uses the CIA book as a source for this article [wikipedia.org]. India is 3.287 million sq km, and a whopping 51.63% is cultivated. That's certainly one of the higher percentages, and gives them 1.535 million sq km of cultivated land. The US is 9.826 million sq km, but only 18.22% is cultivated. Even so, that gives us 1.669 million sq km of cultivated land, more than India. We're actually the only country with more cultivated land than India.

            • by ghoul ( 157158 )

              Exactly. China has less land suitable for growing food and a higher population. If China has managed to make the transition from developing to newly developed there is hope for India yet. The only thing which could doom India is that by the time China is too expensive and its time to move the factories to India (most countries who have developed in the last 70 years have done it through cheap exports) ; automation might be cheap enough to avoid the move. China is going for a lot of robotics in its factories

              • Facepalm.

                India ais higher developed than China.

                You must live in America, too, to have such retarded ideas.

                • by ghoul ( 157158 )

                  What kind of fantasy land are yo in if you think India is more developed than China. Indians are very aware that China started its reforms in 1980 and India started in 1990 so its behind by a decade. Indians do worry that in the field of cheap manufacture while Japan could take over from Europe/America , taiwan/korea/malaysia could takeover from Japan and China could take over from Taiwan/Korea as each country developed and became rich India/Vietnam may not get the chance to takeover from China as robotics

                  • India is a majour player far longer than China.
                    Hence my assumption it is farer developed. But perhaps they are slower and where overtaken by China.

        • Yes, you are american. Facepalm.
          No it is not implicated from my comment that America is more overpopulated than India.

          but then so do most parts of the world. But the US is not currently, as it stands, anywhere near as overpopulated as India.
          No, most parts of the world don't have population growth problem. You are not only an america, which is forgivable, but an idiot.

          If at all the population growth in the USA is due to immigration, and immigrates from poor parts of the world having more children than the av

      • by Clsid ( 564627 )

        Says the German who are notorious for their exarcebated nationalism, even after World War 2. I wonder how are you feeling using a website made by Americans and run by Americans, butthurt much?

        We may be clueless about geography but at least we learned to use deodorant and shower regularly long ago, something that seems to be ages beyond your comprehension.

        • Germany had no "nationalism" till roughly 2000.

          About 2000 german started to show colours in international socker games etc. again and be proud about their country.

          Before that time it was frown up on to show german colours as private person.

          So you are very wrong on this. The only super nationalism country I know, again is the USA. Playing the national anathema at any silly occasion ...

          What your showering and soap and deo comment is supposed to mean is beyond me.

          Germany is mostly inhabited by "Teutons" (no id

  • Time for more nuke plans with the no homers rule

  • by bluegutang ( 2814641 ) on Monday November 07, 2016 @04:40PM (#53232257)

    A few years ago when people talked about air pollution, they talked about China. The AQI in Chinese cities was routinely over 400, and before the 2008 Olympics, they shut down hundreds of factories and banned half the cars from the road in an attempt to make the air temporarily cleaner. But now Chinese air seems to be much better - Beijing's AQI is said to be just 30 in this article (though it must vary substantially by day, like it does everywhere).

    It seems China has passed the stage of building polluting heavy industry, and reached the stage where there is enough of a middle class to demand tolerable air. It seems India is just now reaching the first stage.

    • Well China is centrally planned by the PRC. You will find democratic nations to be extremely slow to react in comparison. Expect a lot of bureaucratic red tape at every level of government in India before they even begin to address this.

    • check it in the winter. its not cold yet.
  • The Ugly Indian [ted.com] The speaker makes the point of India can't expect to consider itself a world class country until it cleans itself up. He goes into the culture of "someone else will deal with it" so he organizes cleanup events that target the worst areas so that people see how nice an area can become and then start to take pride in keeping that way.
  • If half of what is shown in this show [nationalgeographic.com] is true, it'll take some time to fix, but they're aware of it and working on it. Long story short, they use a lot of coal, but they are at the limits of what the grid can distribute so power goes out often (and burning more coal -- which they're doing -- only strains the grid more) and lots of places have diesel generators for backup.

  • There is a prevalence of diesel generators and many run daily because of the instability of the power grid. Surely, this contributes quite a bit to particulate matter in the air.
  • "New Delhi residents are suffocating only to find little to no relief."

    Sorry, but that sentence makes no sense at all.

    No relief from what? It seems to imply that they were breathing okay, and then tried tried suffocating, expecting it to bring some relief. But from what?

    -

    "The air quality index hasn't gone down 400 reading,"

    So the air quality was reading (a book or something?), but then it didn't go down 400. 400 what? IQ points? Millimeters per hectare? Furlongs per fortnight?

    Oh, you probably meant, "The a

  • Designated burning streets.

  • Bring those cheap jobs they contracted out to the USA, watch our economy start to turn around. The tax rates in the USA are so punishing, corporations, wanting to make more with less, farm everything out to the cheapest around, thus firing a lot of IT people, and farming it out to call centers in India.
    • by ghoul ( 157158 )

      The tax rates in the USA are zero. Large corporations like Apple pay zero tax. Its very simple actually. They incorporate Apple International in Ireland. They then assign all patents developed in California to this international corporation for a pittance. They then show that they do not make any profit on any of their products as all the profit is taken up by royalties paid by Apple Inc(incorporated in USA) to Apple International(incorporated in Ireland). AS the US will only tax corporations incorporated i

      • I doubt that India would ban all these companies, as that would create a major jobs bust in Bangalore, Pune, Chennai, Hyderabad and a number of cities. I mean - if those companies can no longer sell in India, they would have no incentive to have operations there either: why operate in a place where you can't sell? India's major selling point is its big markets. Also, it's not like India has many domestic brands that could create alternatives to what you get from the Microsofts, Ciscos, Apples, Boeings, C

  • las a few days ago indian religian occupired their festival "HOLI" then the festival new delhi full with poisonus gas. it is totaly follis job for indian people...http://einfon.com/top-15-best-social-networking-sites/

"The way of the world is to praise dead saints and prosecute live ones." -- Nathaniel Howe

Working...