School children hold banners take out march to express their distress on the alarming levels of pollution in the city, in New Delhi, India, 15 November 2017. Thick smog has constricted India's capital this week, smudging landmarks from view and leaving residents frustrated at the lack of meaningful action by authorities. The air was the worst it has been all year in New Delhi, with microscopic particles that can affect breathing and health spiking to 75 times the level considered safe by the World Health Organization. Photo: Manish Swarup / AP Photo

By Nick Perry, with additional writing by Muneeza Naqvi
15 November 2017

NEW DELHI (Associated Press) – Hundreds of students marched Wednesday in India's capital to demand action to improve the city's toxic air.

New Delhi has been wrapped in a choking haze for much of the past week. The smog did lift a little in time for the march at Nehru Park by students from 15 private schools.

The march was organized by representatives from the United Nations, private schools and the Sonalika company, a tractor maker.

Charvi Thakkar, 13, said she felt the pollution had risen to an extreme level and that her grandmother, uncle and brother were no longer able to comfortably breathe.

"We need to stop this," she said. "Because this is what we are providing for our children, for the next generation. If we are not able to breathe properly, then there is no future."

Teacher Neeraj Chhiber said that when she moved to Delhi 25 years ago, it felt a little dusty at this time of year but nowhere near as bad as it is now. [more]

Hundreds of New Delhi students march to demand cleaner air


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By Mayank Manohar
15 November 2017

NEW DELHI (TNN) – The frequent landfill fires in Delhi have been adding to the rising pollution levels and while the municipal corporations have been directed to stop dumping at the existing sites due to unavailability of land, these sites continue to be functional.

According to latest reports, the Bhalswa landfill fire continues to spew toxic gases even as efforts are on to douse it.

On Saturday, fire broke in the same landfill site during the early morning hours.

Senior officials claimed that experts from IIT Delhi have been roped in to find a workable plan for processing of waste, however, it will take some time.

"The frequent fire is because of the excessive release of methane. The sites have been declared exhausted but due to unavailability of land, we have no other option but to dump at these sites," said a senior official from North Delhi Municipal Corporation.

Smoke rises from a fire at the Bhalswa landfill site in Delhi, India, 15 November 2017. Photo: The Times of India

The 40-acre Bhalswa landfill site was declared exhausted in 2006 and it has crossed the permissible height by 30 meters at least as per the rules of environment ministry.

The story is similar for the other two landfill sites - Okhla and Ghazipur, which were also declared exhausted several years ago. [more]

Delhi pollution: Bhalswa landfill fire rages on as city chokes


Level of air pollution (PM2.5) in Delhi, India, 15 November 2017. The level is 249.58 µg/m³ at 0800. Graphic: The Times of India

By Eric Leister
15 November 2017

(AccuWeather) – A depression in the Bay of Bengal will bring downpours and the threat for flooding to parts of eastern India this week. […]

Total rainfall of 100-200 mm (4-8 inches) with local amounts over 300 mm (12 inches) are expected.
Locations at risk include Visakhapatnam, Puri and Kolkata with the heaviest rainfall expected from Srikakulam to Puri and Ratanpur.

This magnitude of rainfall will create widespread flooding and travel shutdowns. There will also be a heightened risk for mudslides. […]

Meanwhile, much of northern India will continue to endure high levels of pollution and poor air quality as dry and tranquil conditions fail to relieve the current problems.

Delhi and other parts of northern India have had travel disruptions, school closures and an increase in hospital patients over the past week as air quality has deteriorated and pollution levels have reached severe levels.

Weather prediction for India during the week of 13 November 2017. Graphic: AccuWeather

Northern India endures high levels of pollution each year from the late autumn into spring as largely dry and tranquil weather settles over the region and allows pollution to build up.

Pollutants are only dispersed by strong storm systems that are infrequent during this four- to five-month period which causes prolonged periods of poor air quality.

No significant relief from the current poor air quality is expected across Delhi into next week. [more]

Depression to inundate eastern India; No reprieve for smog-stricken Delhi

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