5-speed listening (Level 5)

India cities experiencing hazardous air quality






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Many of India's cities are experiencing such hazardous air pollution that it is difficult to believe. The standard measurement for normal air is set at a level of 50 according to the Air Quality Index (AQI). A level of 300 means the air is hazardous. The AQI website says 300 represents a health alert and an emergency. The website says that, "everyone may experience more serious health effects". The city of Chandrapur reached an AQI level of 824, to become India's most polluted city. The capital New Delhi has reached an AQI of 724. Environmentalists say many cities are now full of gas.

A poisonous fog covers India's capital. People are being told to wear masks. Schools closed for three days. New Delhi has many pollution problems due to the nine million vehicles that clog its streets. Most of these do not conform to emissions standards. The situation has been made worse due to a number of factors. Chemical pollution is blowing in from nearby states, farmers are setting fire to straw, and there is a lack of wind. City officials have ordered roads to be watered to stop dust from rising. They have also banned diesel-powered electricity generators for 10 days, except at hospitals.

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