Air pollution levels in India's capital city of New Delhi have reached 90 times the World Health Organization's safe limit, putting the city under a near-constant haze. The city's high court described the situation as similar to "living in a gas chamber."

"In the evening, I was walking down the street and couldn't even open my eyes because of how difficult it was to see," said New Delhi resident and activist Rohit Chahal.

The city of 25 million people has grappled with pollution for years it's a leading cause of premature death in India but last Wednesday, the Indian Centre for Science and Environment recorded the worst smog and visibility in 17 years.

People took to social media channels to post images and videos of the hazy city, using the hashtags #letmebreathe and #delhichokes.

#Delhi #pollution #becareful 😷😷😷😷 A photo posted by Anahita Fatma (@anahitafatma) on

New Delhi Chief Minister Arvand Kejriwal called an emergency cabinet meeting to draft measures to combat the smog. Schools have been closed for three days and residents were advised to stay indoors and work from home. Construction and demolitions have been banned temporarily until the smog clears.

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