In Dhaka, the capital of Bangladesh, and New Delhi, the capital of India, a thick layer of harmful smog has covered the cities. The air quality in Dhaka, a densely populated city with over 20 million people, has become “hazardous” due to increased construction projects and the excessive use of fossil fuels. This has led to health issues for many residents, such as asthma, fever, and allergies, particularly for those like Rafiq Mondal, who operates traditional two-wheeled rickshaws for a living. Drones equipped with cameras captured images of the smog in Dhaka, ranking it as the most polluted city globally at one point. The air quality index, measuring pollution levels, reached a hazardous level of 325. Although city authorities are spraying water on the streets to settle the dust, residents are calling for more significant efforts to combat the pollution. The World Bank has encouraged Bangladesh to work closely with its South Asian neighbors to address the air pollution issue, which contributes to about a fifth of the country’s premature deaths each year.

In New Delhi, the capital of India, pollution levels are also high, with an air quality index reading of 378, classified as “very poor.” The smog has led to disruptions in transportation, with over 100 flights delayed and rail services affected. Both cities are facing a serious air pollution problem, emphasizing the need for coordinated efforts to improve air quality and reduce the adverse impact on public health.