Concerned about the high levels of pollution in Delhi, the European Union has directed its delegates to install air purifiers in their homes and offices in India's capital city.
The World Health Organisation study, released last year, found Delhi to be the most polluted city in the world. Another study, published this week, said that excess pollution is reducing the life expectancy of 660 million Indians by 3.2 years, on average.
"We don't need to monitor the pollution level, the US is doing that ... We don't need that ... But we need to respond for the safety of our staff, the EU delegation living in the city here," said Joao Cravinho, ambassador of the European Union to India, told the Press Trust of India.
"We haven't bought them (purifiers) yet, but we have received instruction from our headquarters (in Brussels) to do so ... And, our colleagues in delegation are doing market research study to find the best product," he said, speaking on the sidelines of the 7th EU-India Environment Forum in Delhi.
The WHO study also found that Delhi's air is worse than Beijing, and six out of the world's ten most polluted cities are in India.
Delhi has PM2.5 concentrations of 153 micrograms and PM10 concentrations of 286 micrograms, which is much higher than permissible limits. Beijing, the study found, has PM2.5 concentration of 56 micrograms and PM10 concentration of 121 micrograms.
"Seeing from statistics ... Yes, it's a matter of deep concern ... Two things are happening, two movements at the same time ... Delhi is getting more polluted and Beijing is getting less polluted. Because in China they sought to address the issue, and they have implemented some policies and I hope it happens here in India as well," Cravinho said, PTI reported.