A pedestrian crosses a road near the Indian President's house amid heavy smog in New Delhi on November 8, 2018. (MONEY SHARMA/AFP/Getty Images)

The Delhi government has been fined for not taking proper measures to curb pollution in the city.

The National Green Tribunal, India’s environmental watchdog, has slapped the government with a $3.5 million fine for failing to enforce rules to reduce smog. The money is to be deposited with the Central Pollution Control Board and will be utilised for anti-pollution measures.

This penalty comes after it emerged that some polluting industries were still burning harmful waste in the open.

The NGT also slapped a fine on 11 realty players operating in the region and issued notices to 12 others for violating environmental norms.

“The air quality has gone to worse from bad. There were citizens complaining against increasing dust in the air. The children were the worst affected. We will continue taking action because the environment is our priority,” Shailendra Mishra, city magistrate, Noida, was quoted as saying by the Times of India.

Each winter, the air quality in Delhi reaches extreme levels and it often exceeds safe limits by more than 30 times.

In a bid to curb pollution Delhi has shut down power plants and banned heavy trucks from the city. But the situation did not improve.

Delhi is sadly among the 14 Indian cities that figured in World Health Organisation’s (WHO) list of the 20 most polluted cities across the globe. In India, an estimated 1.5 million people died from the effects of air pollution in 2012, according to WHO data.