Delhi records worst air quality of season as thick haze engulfs city

Great Ormond Street is in an area where levels of fine particles are deemed dangerous to health

Great Ormond Street is in an area where levels of fine particles are deemed dangerous to healthPETE MACLAINE EPA

The Centre-run System of Air Quality Forecasting and Research (SAFAR) also reported an AQI in the "very poor" category.

According to the Central Pollution Control Board real-time air pollution monitoring, at 6pm on Thursday, the concentrations of PM2.5 and PM10 were 162.7 micrograms per cubic metre and 349.6 micrograms per cubic metre respectively.

The decline in air quality has been attributed to vehicular pollution, construction dust as well as stubble burning in the neighbouring states of Haryana and Punjab, said authorities.

The overall Air Quality Index of the national capital was recorded at 381 which falls in the very poor category, the highest of this season and just points below severe pollution level NEW DELHI: Delhi recorded its worst air quality of this season on Sunday as a thick haze engulfed the national capital which continued to grapple with deteriorating air quality.

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Other measures included shutdown of coal and biomass based industries (excluding thermal and waste-to-energy plants) from November 4 to 10, intensification of efforts by transport department to check polluting vehicles and controlling traffic congestion in Delhi-NCR between November 1 and 10, according to the minutes of the meeting.

The public has been asked avoid outdoor strenuous activities.

As the average air quality in the national capital region (NCR) inched towards severe levels, Union Environment Minister Harsh Vardhan said on Saturday that the government has made a decision to initiate criminal prosecution against agencies which do not comply with the directives to check air pollution.

Experts have projected that air quality may dip further in the coming days, especially from the beginning of the next month, due to adverse weather conditions and approaching winter. "On Friday, too, wind speed and direction will remain similar", he said.

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With Diwali round the corner, President Ram Nath Kovind on Friday expressed concerns on the rise of air pollution and urged social organisations to spread awareness about celebrating festivals without harming the environment.

It has forecast even worse indices for Sunday - 359 (PM10) and 211 (PM2.5).

Its neighboring cities like Noida, Greater Noida, Ghaziabad, Gurgaon and Faridabad have also been experiencing high pollution levels for the past six days.

It also recommended people go for shorter walks instead of jogs, keeping windows closed, and wearing masks while stepping outside.

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