Air pollution in Delhi in the winter is the worst in the world. The haze is so bad that flights have been cancelledschools have been closed, and the measured level of particulate matter regularly exceeds the World Health Organisation (WHO) recommended limits by more than 1,000%. A major source of the pollution that creates the winter haze that engulfs Delhi every November and December is crop residue burning. Farmers throughout India, but especially in Punjab and Haryana, burn the residue that remains on their fields after the annual rice harvest in order to prepare their fields to plant wheat. Estimates suggest that 40% of the particulate pollution in Delhi in November and December is due to these fires.

 

(CC BY 2.0). flickr, Jean-Rene Vauzelle

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