Air pollution continues to rise in Delhi. According to the Central Pollution Control Board (CPCB), the air quality index (AQI) was at 377 (under 'very poor' category) in Anand Vihar on Tuesday. In Rohini, the AQI was at 346, RK Puram 329 and Mundka 363, the Delhi Pollution Control Committee data suggests.
Delhi's air quality is predicted to remain in the 'very poor' category till October 31. The city recorded a 24-hour average air quality index (AQI) of 353 on Monday. It was 349 on Sunday, 345 on Saturday, and 366 on Friday.
An AQI between 0 and 50 is considered 'good', 51 and 100 'satisfactory', 101 and 200 'moderate', 201 and 300 'poor', 301 and 400 'very poor', and 401 and 500 'severe'.
There are numerous causes of perpetual air pollution in the national capital, like unfavourable meteorological conditions, farm fires in neighbouring regions, and local sources of pollution.
The share of stubble burning in Delhi's PM 2.5 concentration was 16 per cent on Monday. It was 19 per cent on Sunday and 9 per cent on Saturday. NASA's satellite imagery also showed a very dense cluster of fires in Punjab, Haryana and nearby regions.
PM 2.5 refers to tiny particles or droplets in the air that are two and one-half microns or less in width. Exposure to PM2.5 particles can cause short-term health effects such as eye, nose, throat and lung irritation, coughing, sneezing, runny nose and shortness of breath.
Long-term exposure may be associated with increased rates of chronic bronchitis, reduced lung function and increased mortality from lung cancer and heart disease.
Meanwhile, the Centre said on Monday that it will bring in a new law to curb air pollution in Delhi-NCR.
Environment Secretary RP Gupta said, "The new law will be only for Delhi and NCR. It will come out soon. I cannot comment on what penalties it will entail. It's a new law to curb pollution in Delhi-NCR region only."
The response from him came after the Supreme Court was told by the Centre that it will bring new legislation to curb pollution and submit a proposal before it in four days.