German Chancellor Angela Merkel urges Delhi to turn green in the middle of the smog emergency

NEW DELHI: the chancellor of Germany Angela Merkel He urged greater efforts to clean the toxic air of New Delhi, as he promised one billion euros to help Indian cities switch to green transport.

Merkel became a rare foreign leader to talk about the smog crisis in India after being exposed to the capital's air on Friday, when authorities said the pollution had reached emergency levels.

The closure of the schools was ordered until Tuesday and all construction was halted, while the Delhi authorities began distributing millions of anti-pollution masks to children.

On the same day, Merkel held a ceremonial parade in the city with the Prime Minister. Narendra Modi Friday when the smog intensified.

Neither leader wore masks even though authorities told residents to stay inside to avoid the fog.

Merkel said Germany would spend one billion euros on green urban transport projects in India over the next five years, including 200 million euros to replace diesel buses in the state.

These diesel buses will be replaced by electric buses and anyone who has seen the pollution in Delhi yesterday will find very good arguments to further replace these buses, Merkel said in the widely publicized speech.

Much of the new peak in the most dangerous PM 2.5 pollutants (particles less than 2.5 microns entering the lungs and bloodstream) was attributed to fires lit by farmers to burn wheat crop residues outside the capital .

Stronger winds improved air quality on Saturday, but the pollution remained severe, according to government monitors.

The city will be under a new spotlight on Sunday when India plays Bangladesh in a cricket

The two teams have insisted that they will continue with the match despite the threat of contamination.

Some Bangladesh players and bowling coach Daniel Vettori trained in masks at the Arun Jaitley stadium, where the game will be played.

Authorities have ordered that trees in and around the stadium be sprayed with water to collect dust.

They have also established special patrols to stop construction work and burning garbage.

Bangladesh captain Mahmudullah Riyad said the team had spoken about the pollution dangers but there was little they could do.

When we got here there was smog, we all know it, but the players have practiced for the past three days, trying to adapt to the conditions. he said.

It is not under our control, we have to concentrate on our cricket.

Delhi has faced a growing pollution crisis in the last decade.

Fourteen Indian cities, including the capital, are among the 15 most polluted cities in the world, according to the United Nations .

According to one study, smog kills one million Indians prematurely every year.

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