PHOTOS: Millions in Indian capital endure 'eye-burning' smog

A woman wearing a protective face mask waits for public bus in smoggy conditions in New Delhi on Nov. 4, 2019. (Photo: Prakash Singh/AFP via Getty Images)

Millions of people in India's capital started the week Monday choking through "eye-burning" smog, with schools closed, cars taken off the road and construction halted.

A poisonous haze envelops New Delhi every winter, caused by vehicle fumes, industrial emissions and smoke from agricultural burning in neighboring states.

But the current crisis has turned into the worst in three years, and New Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal called for a range of measures to fight what he described as "unbearable pollution".

"There is smoke everywhere and people, including youngsters, kids, elderly are finding it difficult to breathe," Kejriwal said in a Twitter video on Sunday.

"Eyes are burning. Pollution is that bad."

Kejriwal's government has ordered half the city's private cars to be taken off the road, based on an odd-even registration plate system.

Schools, which were closed on Friday last week, remained shut on Monday, and city-wide construction was halted until Tuesday in Delhi and surrounding areas.

Kejriwal said authorities were also distributing face masks to schoolchildren.

Other parts of the country have also been choked by smog, the government's Central Pollution Control Board said Sunday.

Authorities brought a van with an air purifier to the Taj Mahal, the country's top tourist site 250 kilometers (150 miles) south of Delhi, with fears the pollution was damaging the 17th-century marble mausoleum, the Press Trust of India reported. (AFP)

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A crow sits on a barricade in front of India Gate amidst smog in New Delhi, Nov. 3, 2019. (Photo: Adnan Abidi/Reuters)
Volunteers wear pollution masks as they stand at a busy crossing with the banner saying obey odd and even, remove pollution, in New Delhi, India, Nov. 4, 2019. (Photo: Manish Swarup/AP)
A policewoman wears a pollution mask and and hold a banner saying obey odd and even, remove pollution, in New Delhi, India, Nov. 4, 2019. (Photo: Manish Swarup/AP)
People make their way on a street in smoggy conditions in New Delhi on Nov. 4, 2019. (Photo: Prakash Singh/AFP via Getty Images)
A bird flies past as Delhi's sky line is seen enveloped in smog and dust in New Delhi, India, Nov. 1, 2019. (Photo: Manish Swarup/AP)
Volunteers and policemen wear pollution masks and stand at a busy crossing with the banner saying obey odd and even, remove pollution, in New Delhi, India, Nov. 4, 2019. (Photo: Manish Swarup/AP)
Vehicles wait for a signal at a crossing as the city enveloped in smog in New Delhi, India on Nov. 4, 2019. (Photo: Manish Swarup/AP)
A man jogs along a street under smoggy conditions in New Delhi on Nov. 1, 2019. (Photo: Jewel Samad/AFP via Getty Images)
A youth wearing a protective face mask walks along a street in smoggy conditions in New Delhi on Nov. 1, 2019. (Photo: Jewel Samad/AFP via Getty Images)
A man wearing protective face mask rides a bicycle along a street in smoggy conditions in New Delhi on Nov. 1, 2019. (Photo: Jewel Samad/AFP via Getty Images)
A motorist covering up his face rides along a street in smoggy conditions in New Delhi on Nov. 1, 2019. (Photo: Jewel Samad/AFP via Getty Images)
A woman wearing a protective face mask waits for public bus in smoggy conditions in New Delhi on Nov. 4, 2019. (Photo: Prakash Singh/AFP via Getty Images)
A volunteer from civil defence displays a placard to aware drivers on a street after the local government ordered half of the city's private cars to be taken off the road based on an odd-even registration plate system to help reduce air pollution, in New Delhi on Nov. 4, 2019. (Photo: Money Sharma/AFP via Getty Images)
Volunteers from civil defence display a placard to aware drivers on a street after the local government ordered half of the city's private cars to be taken off the road based on an odd-even registration plate system to help reduce air pollution, in New Delhi on Nov. 4, 2019. (Photo: Money Sharma/AFP via Getty Images)
Birds rest on the branches of a tree during sunrise in New Delhi on Oct. 28, 2019. (Photo: Sajjad Hussain/AFP via Getty Images)
A man rides a bicycle along a street under heavy smog in New Delhi on Oct. 29, 2019. Photo: Jewel Samad/AFP via Getty Images)
A woman sweeps a street near India Gate under heavy smog in New Delhi on Oct. 29, 2019. Photo: Jewel Samad/AFP via Getty Images)

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