Delhi's air quality continues to deteriorate further, pushing the air quality to the 'Severe' category. According to the Central Pollution Control Board (CPCB), the Air Quality Index is above 400 in most parts of the city with Anand Vihar at 422, RK Puram at 407, Bawana at 430 and ITO at 448.
The CPCB said that the concentration of major air pollutants PM 2.5 and PM 10 are high in the national capital. Experts believe that the dense layer of haze is a result of unfavourable meteorological conditions like calm winds, low temperatures and stubble burning in neighbouring states of Punjab and Haryana.
On Thursday, the 24-hour average AQI was 450, the worst levels since November last year, with farm fires accounting for 42 per cent of its pollution, the maximum this season so far. The air quality in Delhi's neighbouring NCR territory, Noida was the worst of all with an AQI of 610.
The CPCB said that the toxic air in the city could affect healthy people and have severe impact on people with existing diseases. The AQI is expected to worsen further in the coming days due to the surge in farm fires, drop in temperatures and Diwali celebrations. With Delhi now battling the 'third wave' of the coronavirus pandemic, some experts believe that air pollution can further put people at risk from the coronavirus infection.
On Thursday, Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal urged the residents of Delhi not to play with the lives of their family by bursting firecrackers on the occasion of Diwali. He asked Delhiites to observe a cracker-free Diwali to check the rising air pollution in the national capital.