Deadly smog envelops Delhi-NCR as AQI dips to ‘severe’, likely to enter emergency zone today

Madhuri Adnal

New Delhi, Nov 13: After slight relief, Delhi and its suburbs have again been engulfed in thick blanket of smog as the city's air quality in Delhi deteriorated to 'severe' level on Wednesday and is forecast to become much more hazardous in the days ahead as meteorological conditions are bringing fumes from field fires in Punjab and Haryana.

Delhi's overall air quality index (AQI) fell to 447 at 7 am from 425 on Tuesday evening, according to System of Air Quality and Weather Forecasting And Research (SAFAR).

In Ghaziabad, the Air Quality Index (AQI) in Indirapuram area is at 465, Loni at 475, Sanjay Nagar at 469 and Vasundhara at 479 - all in 'Severe' category.

Delhi air pollution: AQI in 'Poor' category; Odd-Even rule suspended for 2 days

The air quality monitor also predicted the pollution levels in Delhi-NCR are expected to enter the "severe plus" or "emergency" category today.

Meteorologists said the national capital recorded on Tuesday morning a minimum temperature of 11.7 degrees Celsius, the season's lowest so far. It is two notches below normal for this time of the year.

The spike in pollution came on a day when the Delhi government lifted restrictions under its odd-even road rationing scheme in view of the 550th birth anniversary of Sikhism founder Guru Nanak Dev.

Bawana was the most-polluted area in the city with an AQI of 458, followed by Wazirpur (454), Rohini (454), Dwarka Sector-8 (453) and Anand Vihar (450).

Faridabad (406), Gurgaon (402), Ghaziabad (453), Greater Noida (436), and Noida (440) also choked on extremely polluted air.

An AQI between 201 and 300 is considered 'poor', 301-400 'very poor' and 401-500 'severe'. An AQI above 500 falls in the 'severe plus' category.

Delhi air pollution: AQI remains in 'Poor' category as stubble burning continues

For around a week after Diwali, a pungent smog lingered over Delhi-NCR as a result of emissions from firecrackers, stubble burning and unfavourable weather.

As air pollution neared the emergency levels on November 1, a Supreme Court-mandated panel declared a public health emergency and the administration ordered the closure of schools till November 5.

Last week, the apex court had pulled up the Centre and state governments for their inability to curb stubble burning in Punjab and Haryana and bring air pollution in Delhi under control. It had asked the governments if they feel ashamed that people are no longer safe even in their houses.

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