Many of India's big cities are experiencing [much / such] hazardous air pollution that it almost [defies / defines] belief. The standard measurement for healthy, normal, breathable air is set [at / by] a level of 50 according [to / for] the Air Quality Index (AQI). A level of 300 means the air is hazardous to [breath / breathe] . The AQI website says 300 represents a [health / healthy] alert and the city should be put [over / under] emergency conditions. The website says that, "everyone may experience more [seriously / serious] health effects". On November 8, the city of Chandrapur in Maharashtra reached an AQI level of 824, to become India's most [pollution / polluted] city. The capital New Delhi has reached an AQI of 724. Environmentalists say many cities are now [like / similar] "gas chambers".
A toxic haze [shrouds / shrouding] India's capital and residents are being [warned / weaned] to wear masks. Schools were ordered closed for three days. New Delhi generally has its [fair / fare] share of pollution problems [due / because] to the nine million vehicles that [clog / blog] its streets, most not conforming to emissions standards. The situation has been made worse recently due to a [number / numeral] of factors. These include chemical pollution [blowing / blew] in from [nearby / nearly] states, farmers setting fire to straw as autumn arrives, and a lack of wind. To alleviate the crisis, city officials have ordered roads to be [roused / doused] with water to stop dust from rising. They have also banned diesel-powered electricity generators for 10 days, [expect / except] at hospitals and cellphone towers.