Indian authorities have launched a car rationing system as pollution levels peaked to a three-year high in the country’s capital, Delhi.
Many private vehicles have been restricted from the roads in a bid to lessen the deteriorating air quality which has put millions of people at risk of respiratory illness in the country.
The ‘odd-even’ scheme will restrict private vehicles with odd-number license plates to driving on odd dates while even-numbered plates are allowed on even-numbered dates.
This is coming days after authorities in the Indian capital began emergency control measures and ordered the closure of schools. Flights to and from New Delhi’s international airport were delayed and diverted on Sunday as pollution reached “unbearable” levels, leaving the Indian capital blanketed with heavy smog.
29 categories of vehicles, including those of President, Prime Minister, emergency and enforcement vehicles, cars carrying school children in uniform have been exempted from the odd-even scheme.
Delhi chief minister Arvind Kejriwal urged every citizen to follow the car rationing scheme for the sake of their health and family.
Those ignoring the decree will be fined 4,000 rupees (£44; $56) – a penalty that has doubled from previous years.
The scheme which was launched on 4 November will be in place till 15 November.
New Delhi has been ranked the most polluted city in the world, according to Greenpeace and AirVisual; a report by the two found that seven of the world’s 10 cities with the worst air pollution are in India.