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Delhi, NCR shivers and chokes as cold wave and pollution intensify

A thick blanket of fog on Monday morning made matters worse for residents even as the temperature fell to 5.1 degree Celsius at around 0630hrs.

Delhi, NCR shivers and chokes as cold wave and pollution intensify
An elderly man wrapped in warm clothes on a cold, foggy morning in New Delhi. (PTI Photo)

New Delhi: Residents in the National Capital Region (NCR) are battling against the double whammy of cold and pollution with Sunday being especially severe on both fronts.

The temperature on Sunday dropped well into single digits even as pollution levels skyrocketed to levels almost as toxic as in the immediate aftermath of Diwali this year. The Central Pollution Control Board (CPCB) data showed that the Air Quality Index (AQI) rose to the 'severe' level at 450 in Delhi. AQI was at 571 on November 8 - the day after Diwali. Areas like Wazirpur, Ashok Vihar and Anand Vihar were the most hazardous here.

Adjoining areas of Faridabad and Ghaziabad fared almost as bad with AQI hovering well above the 400-mark, prompting CPCB to urge people to take precautions and limit exposure to outdoor air.

The situation is unlikely to improve anytime soon as the India Meteorological Department has said light winds and low temperatures will ensure pollutants remain.

On Sunday morning, Delhi's temperature plummeted to 3.7 degree Celsius while Monday morning was almost as cold at 5.1 degree Celsius.

The wee hours at the start of the week also saw a thick fog cover in areas close to the Yamuna with traffic over DND moving at cautionary speeds. Visibility at Palam was just a little under 300m. There is a possibility that the fog cover in the wee and late hours gets even more menacing in the days to come, possibly hitting train and flight schedules.