Delhi Environment minister appeals residents of Delhi for a crackers-free Diwali

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Faridabad, Ghaziabad, Noida and Greater Noida recorded "severe" pollution levels, while Gurugram recorded "very poor" air quality, CPCB data showed.

The overall Air Quality Index (AQI) in the national capital on Wednesday was recorded at 276, which falls in the "poor" category, according to data by CPCB.

The Centre-run Environment Pollution Control Authority (EPCA), had issued a notification predicting that there will be a depletion of air quality post Diwali period from (November 8 to November 10) due to the low dispersion and winds from the northwest part of India, which will result in increase emission levels in and around Delhi and National Capital Region. Track the pollution level in Mumbai. "Senior citizens, infants, and people who already have lung, heart and other illnesses (such as diabetes) are most vulnerable to the "very poor" air quality", read SAFAR's precautionary statement on Wednesday for Mumbai.

The advisory from the medical body comes amidst concerns of rising air pollution in the National Capital Region.

The Supreme Court's strict directive and a moderately high wind speed appeared to be the reason the Air Quality Index (AQI) did not reach the "severe" level.

An AQI between 0-50 is considered good, 51-100 is satisfactory, 101-200 moderate, 201-300 poor, 301-400 very poor and 401-500 is marked as severe/hazardous.

Delhi's air quality is expected to deteriorate to "severe plus emergency" category after Diwali, SAFAR said. The AQI around Chandni Chowk recorded PM 10 levels at 437 and PM 2.5 at 425, while PM 1O levels were 396 and 470 around Airport Terminal 3 and Delhi University area, respectively.

Winds blowing from the northwest have been carrying biomass-burning pollutants, according to the Indian Institute of Tropical Meteorology. A SAFAR official said intensified stubble burning was contributing almost 24 percent to the air pollution in Delhi.

She said: 'Wind speeds dropped to 15 kilometres per hour from 29 and there's a significant jump in crop stubble burning in Punjab and Haryana in the past few hours'.

They further said that "a child who is born in Delhi is taking in gulps of bad air which is equivalent to smoking 20 to 25 cigarettes on the first day of his life".

Delhi may also see pollution response measure under "severe-plus" category that include parking fee hike, odd-even vehicle rationing scheme and ban on entry of trucks into Delhi. An IIT Kanpur professor said weather conditions were being monitored to become favourable for creating artificial rains.