India is set to use fire trucks to spray water to combat toxic smog and dust in New Delhi, which has caused an environmental emergency due to illegal crop burning.
Around the capital, conditions are expected to worsen over the weekend according to the Central Pollution Control Board, also adding construction dust to the most populated areas.
Authorities said they plan to use the trucks where there is a high concentration of toxic smog and dust.
“Sprinkling water is the only way to bring down the dangerous pollution levels,” said environmental official Shruti Bhardwaj, in charge of monitoring air quality.
According to Reuters, an Indian official said they could even use water cannons, which are usually used by riot police.
Ritesh Kumar Singh, an official at the Environment Ministry said a thick blanket of grey air and pollutants had covered Delhi for the past four days. Officials say inhaling these toxic pollutants could cause heart attacks, strokes, cancer, and respiratory diseases.
Authorities have begun measures such as a halt to construction, restrictions on the use of cars, and increasing parking rates to combat the recurring crisis.
Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal, the head of the Delhi government, called the city a “gas chamber.”
Music festivals and open-air events have been canceled after reports that air quality could deteriorate by the end of the week.