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“India plans to use fire trucks to spray water over parts of its capital to combat toxic smog and dust that has triggered a pollution emergency, with conditions expected to worsen over the weekend.

“Illegal crop burning in farm states surrounding New Delhi, vehicle exhausts and swirling construction dust have contributed to what has become an annual crisis.

“Authorities will use the fire trucks in areas with high concentrations of toxic dust, said Ritesh Kumar Singh, an environment ministry official, after a meeting of civil servants from the city government and four neighboring states. Another ministry official who did not wish to be identified said water cannon – usually used by police for riot control – would also be employed. “Sprinkling water is the only way to bring down the dangerous pollution levels,” said Shruti Bhardwaj, an environmental official charged with monitoring air quality.

“Delhi’s air has been consistently in the “hazardous” zone for days, despite measures such as a halt to construction and restrictions on car use including raising parking charges fourfold and a license plate “odd-even” rule on alternate days. Commercial trucks are banned from the city unless they are transporting essential commodities.

“Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal, the leader of Delhi, has called the capital a “gas chamber”. Affluent residents and large companies have been placing bulk orders for air purifiers and masks… Reuters. Read the full article on