Delhi's air pollution level deteriorated further on Friday to remain in the "very poor" category. IITM, an institute under the Earth Sciences Ministry, said the highest fire count was observed from the north-west region of India, which comprises Rajasthan, Punjab, Haryana and parts of Uttar Pradesh.
The overall Air Quality Index of the national capital was recorded at 370, which falls in the "very poor" category, according to data by the Central Pollution Control Board.
Stubble burning in Punjab and Haryana solely responsible for deteriorating air quality index in Delhi: CM Kejriwal
The PM2.5 level was recorded at 210. Fine particulates can be a matter of more serious health concern than PM10 (particles in the air with a diameter of less than 10 micrometres). As per the data by the Centre-run System of Air Quality Forecasting And Research (SAFAR), the PM10 level in Delhi stood at 334.
Wazirpur, Sonia Vihar and Ashok Vihar recorded "severe" quality air while 28 other areas recorded "very poor" air quality, according to CPCB data. Faridabad recorded an AQI of 406, which falls in the "severe" category, while Ghaziabad, Gurgaon, Noida and Greater Noida recorded "very poor" air quality.
An official said there is special focus on the regions recording "severe" air quality and teams deployed to monitor violations are conducting inspections at various such sites to check incidents of garbage or industrial waste burning.
Meanwhile, stubble burning incidents were recorded from Uttar Pradesh on Friday for the first time this season after Punjab and Haryana where such practice is rampant, the Centre-run System of Air Quality Forecasting And Research said.
An official said that this is the first time this season that stubble burning was detected from Uttar Pradesh.
The Indian Institute of Tropical Meteorology (IITM) said fire counts in the northwestern past of India was highest so far on Thursday. "Contribution from biomass fire is likely to be marginal on Friday and further for the next two days. Because of poor dispersion and stagnant meteorological conditions, no significant improvement is likely for the next two days," it said.
Authorities said the AQI of Delhi would remain in the upper range of the "very poor" category till November 5, and thereafter, it could see severe deterioration due to unfavourable meteorological conditions.
According to SAFAR, 9 per cent of PM2.5 pollution in Delhi is caused due to stubble burning.
There is a halt on all construction activities involving excavation. Civil construction has also been suspended in Delhi and other NCR districts, besides closure of all stone crushers and hot mix plants generating dust pollution.
MyRightToBreathe, a citizen's group, said Friday it has committed itself to behavioural change in people to help curb air pollution. In a statement, the group said it has sent a letter to the Supreme Court-appointed Environment Pollution Control Authority (EPCA), urging it take additional steps for curbing pollution level in the city.
The group has suggested to the EPCA to ask employers to encourage office-goers to allow "work from home" till November 10. It claimed that waste-to-energy system in the region is "not well regulated" and suggested its closure till November 10.
In a meeting held on Thursday, Delhi Police Commissioner Amulya Patnaik directed all DCPs to ensure that Supreme Court guidelines on pollution control are implemented fully.
There were a total of 4,385 such cases in October, Joint Commissioner of Police (Traffic) Alok Kumar said.
Around 177 vehicles were fined for carrying uncovered building material and amount of Rs 3,54,000 collected as penalty in October.
At the border check-posts of Delhi, a total of 70,480 vehicles were checked, out of which 1,738 vehicles, which were not destined for Delhi, were made to turn back and take other routes to reach their destinations, Kumar said.
So far this year till October 31, a total of 1,89,290 vehicles were checked and 391 of those were impounded as they were "over-age", he said.
Further, to decongest city roads, reduce the travel time of motorists, save fuel and reduce pollution, a total of 10,23,156 vehicles were fined for obstructive and improper parking, the joint commissioner of police said.