In Delhi, the most polluted major metropolis in the world, India’s government moved to ban millions of private vehicles from the streets on Monday, a day after the city recorded its worst air quality in three years.
As temperatures cool and winds calm, New Delhi's air quality drops. The poor air quality can make eyes water, induce coughing, and cause breathlessness even for those without respiratory illnesses. Often, the city will declare a public health emergency, and even go as far as to shut schools.
The level of harmful particulate matter (PM2.5 and PM10) skyrocketed to more than 25 times the safe limit prescribed by the World Health Organization. Arvind Kejriwal, the chief minister of the state of Delhi, has repeatedly referred to the region as a “gas chamber.”
india frequently enacts an emergency action plan, on days when pollution is severe, including banning trucks from entering the city, prohibiting diesel generators, and shutting down various polluting industries. The local government also distributes pollution masks to millions of students and limits the number of cars on the road - vehicles with even-numbered license plates are allowed on even-numbered days, vehicles with odd-numbered plates on odd-numbered days.
Additionally, state and central pollution authorities spread across the city, in their efforts to combat the smog to seek out potential violations of anti-pollution regulations.