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CNN10 2022-11-16

CNN 10

The World's Most Polluted Capital; The Smithsonian Of The South. Aired 4-4:10a ET

Aired November 16, 2022 - 04:00 ET


COY WIRE, CNN 10 ANCHOR: What's up, everyone? It's Wednesday. Are you hanging in there? Let's smell the flowers and cool the soup.

I'm Coy Wire. This is CNN 10.

Just a few more days and we are on the Thanksgiving break. So let's rock. We're going to start today though with news out of India, where air quality is an ongoing issue.

New Delhi, India, is the world's most polluted capital according to IQAir, a Swiss company that measures air quality. It's blanketed in smog every winter as the cold air traps dust in the atmosphere above the city.

In March of this year, firefighters battled ablaze in New Delhi at a landfill site. The fire cloaked the area in a toxic haze and smoke choked residents for days. Factories, construction sites and primary schools were ordered to shut down, and Delhi authorities urged people to work from home.

There's currently a debate in India over how to handle waste. There's no processing of waste in most Indian cities, according to the government's central pollution board and in some cases trash is simply burned in open dump yards on the roads.

Delhi's 24-hour air quality index measures the concentration of harmful pollutants. Anything over 300 is considered hazardous and New Delhi's levels are as high as 470. The government is attempting to take stricter measures to tackle air quality as there are major health concerns for citizens in India.

We'll hear more now from Vedika Sud, a CNN reporter based at the New Delhi bureau who will introduce us to some of the people impacted by the poor air quality and explain the science behind the toxic air.


VEDIKA SUD, CNN REPORTER (voice-over): Seventy-two-year-old shopkeeper Narayan Choudhary suffers from chronic asthma. He says he almost died in April this year after the landfill behind his house which is the size of a village caught fire.

NARAYAN CHOUDHARY, SHOPKEEPER (through translator): It was a massive blade. It was difficult to survive. My face and nose started swelling. I was gasping for breath. I could barely drink or eat.

SUD: Choudhary says had it not been for his friend who rushed him to hospital, he wouldn't be here today. It was a dangerous combination of methane, unsegregated garbage and record high temperatures earlier this year that sparked massive fires not only at the Bhalswa landfill but also here at one of Asia's biggest dump sites.

Government data from 2019 says this Ghazipur landfill is almost stories tall and the size of s soccer fields. Methane is the second most prevalent greenhouse gas and one company GHGSat found on a single day in March as trash decomposed more than two metric tons of methane gas leaked every hour from the Ghazipur landfill.

STEPHANE GERMAIN, CEO, GHGSAT: When we take all the measurements that we took over a period of about a year, we found that the total emissions were equivalent to emissions from approximately 350,000 U.S. passenger vehicles per year.

SUD: And methane emissions aren't the only hazard. Dangerous toxins from landfills seep into the ground polluting the water supply for thousands of residents living nearby.

That's the color of the water, a pale, dirty yellow and we're barely hundred meters away from the foothill of the landfill.

In May, CNN commissioned two accredited labs to test the groundwater around the Bhalswa landfill. The result, the groundwater within at least a 500-meter radius around the wayside is contaminated. According to the labs, it's unfit for drinking.

In the first lab report, the total dissolves solids from all three samples were off the charts. Amid other parameters, levels of ammonia and sulfate was significantly higher than acceptable limits mandated by the Indian government.

Results from the second lab report were equally worrying. Also iron traces in the first sample for both lab reports were at least eight times more than the permissible limit. And while authorities bring in a supply of clean water, residents say they're simply not enough for this densely populated neighborhood, and that they must buy and consume purified water.

As part of his Clean India Initiative, Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi has said efforts are being made to remove these mountains of garbage and convert them into green zones. That goal if achieved could stem the suffering of those residents living in the shadows of these dump sites and go a long way to curb the massive amounts of methane being released into the atmosphere.

With more than 3,100 landfills, the task is monumental and so far unrealized. And if decisive action isn't taken soon, the consequences on the global climate fight could be catastrophic and the toll on human life unimaginable.



WIRE: Ten-second trivia:

In what U.S. city would you find the famous museum complex nickname "the nation's attic"?

New York, Washington, D.C., Los Angeles or Raleigh?

The Smithsonian Institution in Washington, D.C. is home to 19 museums, 21 libraries and is home to over 154 million eclectic holdings.


WIRE: Up next, we're traveling to Raleigh, North Carolina, to show you how big tech is making that city one of the fastest growing in the United States. Raleigh even gained the recognition as the Smithsonian of the South because of its booming art scene and all the free museums you can choose from. Let's check it out.


REPORTER: If you were to list the great art and educational centers of the U.S., you might think of New York or D.C. But you might be missing one, here, Raleigh, North Carolina.

Raleigh has long been a museum Mecca with a vibrant art scene. Now, big companies like Google and Apple are moving into the area, helping to make it one of the fastest growing cities in the U.S. And as the city's grown, Raleigh has gained more recognition as a cultural destination. The area boasts more than locally owned art galleries, over 60 performing art spaces, and 140 pieces of public art in the downtown area, not to mention over 50 historic sites and 17 museums, most of which are free, leading some people to call Raleigh and its abundance of cultural institutions the Smithsonian of the south.

VALERIE HILLINGS, DIRECTOR AND CEO, NORTH CAROLINA MUSEUM OF ART: The state of North Carolina from the 20th century realized what an important thing it was to offer to its citizens free museums, giving everyone an opportunity to learn about and experience different subjects. We opened our doors in 1956.

REPORTER: The North Carolina museum of arts collection stretches across different cultures and eras. It has dedicated galleries to Rodin, Jewish ceremonial art. It even has an infinity mirror room sculpture by Yayoi Kusama, who has been nicknamed the most Instagramed artist in the world.

HILLINGS: As I like to say, all art is once contemporary and all art becomes history. We began to move single artworks around into other galleries, unexpected galleries, that really changed how people saw this collection. One of the Wileys has been a real fan favorite as it's been paired with an earlier portrait of King Louis showing two young men having a great sense of swagger.,

REPORTER: The museum also has the largest connected art park in the country, at a whopping 164 acres.

HILLINGS: It becomes like an outdoor art gallery.

REPORTER: The North Carolina Museum of Natural Sciences is the largest of its kind in the Southeast and home to millions of plants animals gems and to the second biggest earth on Earth.


There's a lot of great ways to get close to nature here at the museum and a lot of great ways to learn about what's going on in the state of North Carolina.

One of the main highlights, the reasons to come visit are the whale skeletons. That whale the Smithsonian tried to take it and we were like no, we want it. These are dinosaurs that would have lived in prehistoric North Carolina. This is an eastern glass lizard and very active this morning good to see him out. There are 50 states, North Carolina is the best because North Carolina has a little bit of everything that everybody loves.

REPORTER: Whether you're interested in history, modern art or even Harley- Davidson drag racing, Raleigh's got you covered.

HILLINGS: Many of the things you can see not only in New York but at museums worldwide, you can see here in North Carolina. But also you can see things you won't see anywhere else.


WIRE: For today's 10 out of 10, yo, Adrienne! Over the weekend, thousands of runners in Philadelphia channeled their inner Rocky Balboa, participating in the Rocky run. The Rocky movies set in the City of Brotherly Love are a rags to riches sports story about an underdog boxer who outworked everyone and never gave up. Runners on Saturday took to the streets to have the chance to compete a 5K, 10K, or the full Italian stallion half marathon.

And we know all of viewer fighters out there, too. Never give up, never give in. Outwork everyone every single day. And make those dreams come true, baby.

Shout out time now. Pennichuck Middle School in Nashua, New Hampshire. Go Raiders!

Thanks for subscribing and commenting on our YouTube page for your shout- outs. We hope you and everyone watching around the world have a wonderful one. I'm Coy and I'll see you next time on CNN 10.