Delhi and the surrounding areas remained under the cover of toxic smog on late Thursday and early Friday as people continued to burst firecrackers despite a ban on it by the state government.
Continuing its upward trend, the city’s air quality index, which stood at 382 at 4 pm yesterday, entered the severe zone around 8 pm as low temperature and wind speed allowed the accumulation of pollutants.
The concentrations of Particulate Matter (PM) 2.5 stood at 999 per cubic metre at Jawaharlal Nehru stadium in the city on Friday morning – against the WHO’s prescribed safe limit of 25.
Airborne PM2.5 can cause cardiovascular and respiratory diseases such as lung cancer.
New Delhi has the worst air quality of all world capitals. The neighbouring cities of Faridabad (424), Ghaziabad (442), Gurgaon (423) and Noida (431) also recorded ‘severe’ air quality with cracker bursting peaking after 9 pm.
As per the Centre-run System of Air Quality and Weather Forecasting And Research (SAFAR), the air quality is not likely to improve until Sunday evening (November 7). The improvement would, however, just fluctuate in the ”Very Poor” category.