Heavy smog covers New Delhi, India on November 7, when AQI readings hit as high as 451. Photo: VCG
India should abandon its competitive mentality toward China and learn from China's experience in dealing with pollution, which has blanketed the country in the past week, experts said.
A US embassy index showed levels of poisonous airborne particles, known as PM 2.5, had reached 495 on Monday morning in India, compared with the upper limit of "good" quality air of 50, Reuters reported.
Central New Delhi's level of PM2.5 exceeded a staggering 1,000 on Wednesday on the US Environmental Protection Agency's air quality index, the ABC news reported.
"India has some indexes on smog as well, but are not effective," said Hu Zhiyong, a research fellow at the Shanghai Academy of Social Sciences' Institute of International Relations.
China also faces air quality concerns especially in winter when the PM 2.5 could surpass 500 in some northern areas, but the situation has improved significantly with timely measures.
"China has been setting standards that suit its local conditions, as well as strict laws to reduce air pollution, which provide support to the campaign," said Wang Gengchen, a research fellow at the Chinese Academy of Sciences' Atmospheric Physics Institute.
China and India are both developing countries with big populations, and they both face severe pollution issues.
Analysts said that China has valuable experience that India could study and use, such as closing factories which produce heavy pollution.
Wang said that investment in pollution research is also necessary and could also be crucial for India to deal with similar issues.
"But India may not be willing to learn from China because it always views China as a competitor," Hu said, adding that India should be more mature and learn from the experiences of other countries.
"Environmental issues have no national boundaries and countries should put aside their political biases," Wang noted.
Delhi suffers from heavy pollution in winter primarily from the burning of crop stubble to clear the fields in agricultural areas in the neighboring northern state of Punjab and Haryana.