The air pollution level in the national capital and areas around it continued to dip on Tuesday with the Air Quality Index (AQI) reaching the higher end of the 'Poor' category. The city has been reeling under severe air pollution since the fag-end of October. In the morning, the AQI in Delhi docked at 280, according to the Center-run System of Air Quality and Weather Forecasting And Research (SAFAR).
The AQI was recorded the highest in Chandni Chowk at 356, followed by Dhirpur at 306, Mathura Road at 300, IIT Delhi at 297, Delhi University and Airport (T3) at 283, Lodhi Road at 273, Pusa at 252, and Ayanagar at 220. The AQI in Noida stood at 247 and Gurugram at 219.
The SAFAR model forecast suggested that the AQI is likely to stay in the lower end of the 'Very Poor' category on December 4. Further deterioration to the middle-end of the 'Very Poor' category is forecasted for December 5. The stubble transport-level winds are north-westerly and favourable for the intrusion. An increase in stubble impact is expecting in Delhi for the next two days. PM2.5 per cent contribution is predicted to touch 10 per cent by Tuesday.
In November, the Supreme Court had come down heavily on the Centre and state government over their failure to tackle the pollution crisis in the national capital regions. A bench of Justices Arun Mishra and Deepak Gupta remarked, "The people of Delhi are living in a gas chamber. It is better to get explosives and kill everyone".
Measures like containing stubble burning activities in the neighbouring states of Punjab, Haryana, implementation of the odd-even scheme in Delhi and banning all sort of construction activities in Delhi-NCR were taken in order to control the air pollution in the capital and adjoining areas.
An AQI between 0-50 is considered `good`, 51-100 `satisfactory`, 101-200 `moderate`, 201-300 `poor`, 301-400 `very poor` and 401-500 is marked as `severe`. An AQI above 500 falls in the `severe plus` category.
During winter each year, most of northern India suffers from a spike in toxicity in the air due to the change in weather patterns and crop residue burning in the neighbouring states of Haryana, Punjab and Uttar Pradesh.