AFP : Soaring pollution in Indonesia’s capital has left 35-year-old Asep Muizudin Muhamad Darmini hooked up to breathing tubes at a Jakarta hospital, gazing at the dense grey haze outside.
Air pollution is hardly a new phenomenon in the megalopolis, but monitors and activists say the effects have been even worse than usual this year.
Under growing pressure, the government is beginning to recognise the contribution of industry to the soupy smog over the capital.
It sanctioned 13 firms in recent weeks for failing to meet operational standards and has since ordered remote work for some civil servants, cloud seeding, and vehicle emissions tests.
Before a regional summit last week, it even trimmed power generation at the Suralaya coal plant near Jakarta in a bid to tackle high levels of PM2.5, a class of pollutants which can penetrate deep into the lungs.