A thick layer of smog shrouded the Delhi-NCR region on Saturday, with air pollution levels being the season's worst.
The capital's Air Quality Index was at 499, one below the 500-mark, in the 'severe' category, according to the Ministry of Earth Science's air quality monitor, System of Air Quality and Weather Forecasting And Research (SAFAR).
Delhi | Air quality dips in the national capital as the overall Air Quality Index (AQI) stands at 499 (Severe category). pic.twitter.com/aWp91VIEMM
— ANI (@ANI) November 13, 2021
According to the government agencies, an AQI between 0-50 is considered good, 51-100 is satisfactory, 101-200 moderate, 201-300 poor, 301-400 very poor and 401-500 are marked as severe/hazardous.
At 6 am today, the concentrations of the particulate matter (PM) with a diameter of 10 and 2.5 microns clocked at 541 and 349 respectively, both falling in the ‘severe’ category, according to the Centre-run pollution monitoring system.
On Friday, when Delhi recorded an AQI of 471 authorities had issued an advisory asking people to limit outdoor activities and told government and private offices to cut vehicle use by at least 30 percent.
The Graded Response Action Plan committee had said that "concerned agencies must be in complete readiness for implementation of measures under 'emergency' category'".
The measures to be followed in the 'emergency' situation include stopping the entry of trucks in Delhi, ban on construction activities and introducing the odd-even car rationing scheme.
The situation in Delhi has been exacerbated by the farm fires, which according to authorities accounted for 35 percent of the pollution on Friday.
According to an analysis by the Delhi Pollution Control Committee, people in Delhi breathe the worst air between 1 November and 15 November every year. The city has recorded severe air quality on six of the last eight days after Diwali.
Thick smog covers Noida sky; Overall air quality in 'severe' category
(Data source: SAFAR- India) pic.twitter.com/9ZYm0QsHhO
— ANI UP (@ANINewsUP) November 13, 2021
Meanwhile, Noida in Uttar Pradesh also recorded ‘severe’ air quality with the concentrations of PM10 and PM2.5 particles standing at 772 and 523 respectively. Haryana’s Gurugram, too, witnessed ‘severe’ air pollution level.
With inputs from agencies