New Delhi: After a few days of respite, the air quality in the national rose to 'severe' level on Wednesday.
The Air Quality Index (AQI) on Wednesday reached 410 - which is labelled 'severe' - from 368 or 'very poor' on Tuesday and 229 or 'poor' on Monday.
Residents of Delhi and National Capital Region (NCR) woke up to a dense fog on Wednesday morning that reduced visibility, which affected rail, road and air traffic.
As per India Meteorological Department (IMD), the visibility would continue dropping due to the smog.
"The visibility would drop further and expected to come down to 150 meters on Thursday. On Wednesday, the visibility at Safdarjung dropped by 500 meters between 2.30 p.m. and 5 p.m.," an IMD official said.
Meanwhile, Delhi Deputy Chief Minister Manish Sisodia on Wednesday held a meeting and decided to install "Induced-draft air treatment systems" at five major traffic intersections in Delhi.
"These units have the potential to reduce carbon monoxide and particulate emission by 40-60 per cent emission in 20-30 metre radius during peak hours of traffic," the Delhi government said in a statement.
The government also directed to immediately implement measures to curb the air pollution.
The National Environmental Engineering Research Institute (NEERI) has been given the mandate to design and implement these solutions.
Sisodia also ordered that DPCC conduct the five studies regarding air pollution along with NEERI.
The solution projected by the government includes study on the feasibility of use of cow dung, sewage sludge, alum sludge for their possible use as fuel pellets, tiles and bricks.
The government would also focus on the design of air pollution control system for green crematorium, brick kilns air pollution control and clean tandoor community kitchen system.
The 'very poor' air quality can lead to illness, while the 'severe' threatens even the healthier lot.
The health effects of air pollution are well established and have been reported in research studies.
With an AQI in the severe category (401-500), the entire population may experience health effects due to exposure to toxic particulate matter. It may cause respiratory impact even on healthy people, and serious health impacts on people with lung/heart disease. The health impacts may be experienced even during light physical activity.
(With IANS inputs)