Air pollution in the Bosnian capital Sarajevo has gone far beyond critical in recent days, prompting an emergency committee to ban half of the city’s cars from the roads, the daily Avaz reported Saturday online.

Starting Sunday at 7 am (0600 GMT), only cars with license plate numbers ending in an odd number will be allowed onto the streets, with even and odd numbers alternating daily as long as the crisis continues.

Situated in a deep valley, surrounded by high mountains on all sides, Sarajevo – home to 520,000 people – is notoriously prone to concentrating fog, smog and dust.

The situation deteriorated despite measures in place since early December, including the altering of traffic light settings to cut idle time on main routes, reduced central heating and a ban on dust producing construction.

On Saturday mid-afternoon, the concentration of particles in the air was 11 times higher than allowed, Avaz reported.

Meteorologists however forecast that weather conditions will likely aggravate the pollution in the coming days.

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