Delhi chokes as pollution levels remain 'severe' for second straight day

An aerial view of New Delhi Railway station shrouded in heavy haze, in New Delhi | File photo: PTI
Delhi air pollution: There is no respite from severe air pollution in Delhi as air quality remained in the "severe" category on Wednesday morning. The air quality was similar to what it was on Tuesday, the day it slipped into the "severe" category in the city and the adjoining areas.

At 6 am, the city's overall air quality index (AQI) was 422 -- a little worse than Tuesday's AQI of 414 at 8 pm, according to the Central Pollution Control Board.

An AQI between 0-50 is considered good, 51-100 satisfactory, 101-200 moderate, 201-300 poor, 301-400 very poor, and 401-500 severe. Above 500 is severe-plus emergency category.

The AQI of five places in and around Delhi has been provided in the table given below.

Place PM2.5 PM10
Noida 443 436
Gurugram 350 NA
Dwarka 429 436
Faridabad 408 NA
Anand Vihar 468 458

Delhi's air quality took a hit after Diwali night due to a combination of firecracker emissions, stubble burning and unfavourable meteorological conditions.

Since then, pollution levels have been oscillating between the lower end and the higher end of the very poor category.

Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal on on Tuesday appealed "with folded hands" to Punjab and Haryana to take concrete steps against stubble burning to prevent the national capital from becoming a "gas chamber".

His statement came after latest NASA images showed a drastic spurt in crop residue burning in the neighbouring states. The stubble plume from north-west regions has become one of the significant factors adversely affecting Delhi's air quality.

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