Beijing is repairing its stale air. Why can’t New Delhi?


Ten years ago, the capitals of Asia’s two largest countries had some of the dirtiest skies in the world. On the worst days, millions of people were shrouded in thick gray canopies of smog that darkened the sun and besieged the lungs.

Since then, one of these cities has made significant progress. After the Chinese government declared a war on pollution in 2013, Beijing continued a multi-year, $100 billion effort to clean its air. Authorities have cracked down on factories, taken old vehicles off the road and switched from coal to natural gas. Although there is still a long way to go, officials in Beijing say the city now has more than 100 more days of clear skies each year than it did at the start of the campaign.

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