New Delhi introduces car rationing amid 'smog emergency'

Delhi's chief minister has said the city has "become a gas chamber"

New Delhi introduces car rationing amid 'smog emergency'

Dense smog in New Delhi, India on November 8th. Picture by: Hindustan Times/SIPA USA/PA Images

The Indian city of New Delhi has introduced car rationing amid a 'smog emergency' in the city.

Dangerous levels of pollution have seen schools closed this week, and people are being urged to stay indoors.

Construction and industrial activities have been suspended, while trucks have been banned from the city's roads.

In a bid to encourage use of public transport, parking fees have also been quadrupled.

Cars will be restricted by an 'odd-even' scheme - which means traffic bans will alternate every day between cars with odd-numbered licence plates and cars with even-numbered plates.

The private car restrictions will be in place from November 13th to 17th. Officials in Delhi had previously introduced the same rule on a trial basis in 2016.

Similar but permanent 'road space rationing' is in place in cities such as Athens and Mexico City.

According to BBC, pollution levels in some parts of the Indian capital are currently 30 times above World Health Organisation (WHO) recommended limits.

Major health concerns have been raised due to the smog, amid fears the high levels of particulate matter in the air could lead to more people developing respiratory diseases and other serious conditions.

Delhi chief minister Arvind Kejriwal has described the situation as an emergency, and has been seeking meetings with leaders of the nearby Punjab & Haryana regions in a bid to stop crop burning.