In 2019, the World Health Organization reported that India had 13 of the world's 20 most polluted cities. Although emission standards for diesel engines and generator sets was set in 2004, as recently as 2014 these standards were modified to be more stringent in an attempt to address the continued high levels of air pollution. Following these changes, the India Supreme Court began cracking down on Delhi generator pollution and frequently puts in place emergency orders to address dangerous levels of pollution.
In Delhi, the most polluted major metropolisin 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.