Delhi's air quality to remain 'severe' till Saturday: SAFAR

A thick haze engulfed ITO on Diwali day

"This may be due to the differences in background air quality status in October and November".

Partly as a result of smoke from the firecrackers, the overall AQI in Delhi jumped to 642 which falls in the "severe-plus emergency" category, according to the data by SAFAR. The air quality index on Mysuru Road was 145 on Thursday while last week it was 79.

A municipal worker with her daughter leaves after sweeping the India Gate area as a thick lawyer of pollution haze hangs a day after Diwali festival, in New Delhi, India, on November 8, 2018.

City records worst air quality of year, 10 times permissible limit. Patiala, Khanna and Rupnagar, had recorded 150, 186, and 83 AQI on Diwali day respectively which had gone upto, 264, 208 and 146 on Diwali night.

A "very poor" AQI translates into spike in respiratory illnesses and if the air quality dips further, the AQI turns "severe", which troubles healthy individuals and seriously affects those with health issues.

Central Pollution Control Board (CPCB) data said particulate concentrations were slightly higher this Diwali as compared to past year.

The indices mostly measure the concentration of tiny poisonous particulate matter, or PM 2.5, particles that are less than 2.5 microns in diameter, which can be carried deep into the lungs.

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On 6 November, a day before Diwali, Delhi's air quality was 418 which is "hazardous" at 11am.

The Supreme Court had allowed bursting of firecrackers from 8 PM to 10 PM on Diwali and allowed sale of only "green crackers" which have low emission of light, sound and harmful chemicals. This, they said was much higher than previous years. The government has said that the authorities are taking measures to curb the air pollution levels including banning trucks from entering the national capital till December.

In the wake of deteriorating air quality in Delhi, the entry of heavy vehicles into the national capital have been stopped after 11 pm.

The Supreme Court has allowed people to burst firecrackers from 8pm to 10pm only on Diwali and other festivals.

The top court had directed the police to ensure that banned firecrackers were not sold and in case of violation, the station house officer (SHO) of the area would be held responsible.

However, violations were reported from across Delhi, including areas like Anand Vihar, ITO, Jahangirpuri Mayur Vihar Extension, Lajpat Nagar, Lutyens Delhi, IP Extension and Dwarka.

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