Air pollution level becomes severe in New Delhi
NEW DELHI: The air pollution level in India's capital city New Delhi became severe, officials said.
According to the Central Pollution Control Board (CPCB), the overall air quality index (AQI) remained in severe category at 406.
"The AQI in Delhi at 1:00 p.m. (local time) today was recorded at 406," data released by CPCB said. "The air quality is severe and prominent pollutants are PM 2.5 and PM 10."
Health officials said severe air quality affects people's health and seriously impacts those with existing pulmonary diseases.
Meteorological department officials said a thick haze engulfed the national capital during morning hours.
On Monday the air quality remained in the very poor category at 399.
The air quality in the capital plunged into "severe plus emergency" category on Thursday after the Hindu festival of Diwali.
A thick blanket of smoke engulfed the city and outskirts Thursday morning and people complained of difficulty in breathing and itching in the eyes.
The air quality worsened because of the rampant bursting of toxic fireworks despite Supreme Court ban.
As per CPCB, AQI between 0-50 is considered "good", between 51-100 "satisfactory", between 101-200 "moderate", between 201-300 "poor", between 301-400 "very poor", and between 401-500 "severe" and beyond 500 is severe plus emergency.
Efforts by authorities to contain the pollution by banning entry of trucks in the city and stopping construction activities with its limits have yet to show desired results.
Air pollution continues to worsen in New Delhi especially during winter months.