The National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) on its Fire Information for Resource Management System (FIRMS) website has released images of crop burning in India. The air quality in Delhi is likely to get worse as incidents of stubble burning in neighbouring states of Haryana and Punjab increase, the agency warned.
Parts of Delhi have already slipped into the 'very poor' category. The capital's air quality index (AQI) bordered on 'very poor' on Wednesday. Its AQI slipped to 299 on Wednesday from 270 on Tuesday as PM levels shot up to twice the safe limit.
In some areas such as Mundka and Dwarka Sector 8, the AQI reached over 360. The AQI at Mundka, Dwarka Sector 8, Delhi Technological University, Anand Vihar, Wazirpur, Rohini, Bawana, Ashok Vihar, Nehru Nagar and Jahangirpuri was 368, 362, 355, 328, 323, 323, 320, 319, 319 and 318 respectively. In total, 17 of the 37 air quality monitoring stations in Delhi saw the AQI levels cross 300.
Not only in Delhi, pollution levels also spiked in areas such as Ghaziabad (337), Loni Dehat (335), Noida (318) and Greater Noida (308).
The government released pictures and data from NASA that highlighted stubble burning concentrated around Delhi. The System of Air Quality and Weather Forecasting and Research (SAFAR) also stated that it had noticed an increasing trend of stubble burning incidents around Delhi.
AQI levels between 0 and 50 is considered 'good', levels between 51 and 100, 101 and 200, 201 and 300, 301 and 400, and 401 and 500 are considered satisfactory, moderate, poor, very poor and severe.