Delhi is an Indian territory which is half the size of Rhode Island and has a population twice that of New York City. Delhi is incredibly polluted. Beijing, China is infamous for it’s polluted air but a study done by the World Health Organizations found that Delhi’s air contains more pollutant’s than Beijing. By most measurements, it is the most polluted area in the world.
Photographer Matthieu Paley spent five days walking across Delhi to show what it is like to live in these conditions. His pictures show the physical results of the urbanization that is going on Delhi.
Delhi’s air is so bad that most days are spent with a thick, yellow haze clouding the city. Another major issue is the pollution of the Yamuna River.
The Yamuna River is incredibly important for Hindus because many believe that bathing in it will cleanse them of their sins. 57 million people also depend on the river for water. This is dangerous because the river is filled with chemical runoff, waste disposal and soil erosion that turn the water black in some places and in others leave it covered with a thin white film of toxic foam.
While Delhi may have waste-treatment plants, it lacks the necessary sewer infrastructure that would carry the waste there. Paley noticed that even aboveground he didn’t see basic infrastructure like public trash cans. “There have been times I’ve had garbage in my hands and I’ve had to carry it with me all day, because there are no bins anywhere,” he remembered