New Delhi: Posing a severe risk to the residents' health, the air quality in the national capital has deteriorated further in the past three days.
As per a Times of India report, Delhi's air quality index currently is in 'very poor' category, close to the 'severe' zone seen during Diwali.
The current level in Delhi triggers emergency measures, such as shutting down schools, in many countries.
However, unlike Diwali time, the contribution from farm fire in neighbouring states is very low this time, indicating that vehicles are likely to be the major source of air pollution in winter apart from weather conditions.
According to an analysis by SAFAR, pollution has been rising since November 17, peaking to almost Diwali levels on November 21, 22 and 23, which are are worse than the same period last year and may remain high for a few more days.
It is said that the average PM 2.level was as high as 240 micrograms per cubic metre on November 21, and on Monday it was about 220 micrograms per cubic metre, which is 3.6 times the national standard.
On Monday, the Delhi Pollution Control Committee's real time data showed PM 2.5 levels to be more than 300 micrograms per cubic metres at most monitoring stations such as Punjabi Bagh, Anand Vihar and R K Puram between 8am and 12.30pm.
Nitrogen dioxide (NO2) levels, which can trigger immediate health impacts in people with asthma and other conditions, also saw more than 100 micrograms per cubic metres in most areas whereas the standard is only 80 micrograms.
The levels of PM10 particulates, which are very hazardous to health, rose to 2,000 micrograms per cubic metre, post Diwali celebrations in Delhi.