Diwali celebrations across the national capital have left Delhi and Noida reeling under 'very poor' pollution levels as the overall air quality index stood at 306 and 356 in Delhi and Noida respectively. Extremely poor pollution levels were previously predicted in Delhi due to firecracker emissions, unfavourable weather and a significant spike in stubble burning in neighbouring states.
As Haryana too witnessed bursting of crackers on Diwali, its AQI stood at 279 (poor) at NISE Gwal Pahari area in Gurugram.
On Saturday, the System of Air Quality and Weather Forecasting And Research (SAFAR) had predicted that the air quality will get even worse in coming days and the AQI was expected to be around 324 due to Diwali.
In the wake of the increased pollution, Delhi residents have complained of a spike in respiratory problems and allergies.
Stubble burning in Punjab and Haryana makes the situation in Delhi worse. According to Punjab Remote Sensing Centre (PRSC), straw burning has increased this year.
To curb air pollution, the Arvind Kejriwal-led government in Delhi has announced the implementation of the Odd-Even scheme from November 4 to 15.
Meanwhile, authorities in some areas took to the sprinkling of water on the streets to bring down the level of air pollution.
According to the AQI data, recorded till 11 p.m., the pollution level at the National Malaria Institute, Dwarka was 763 with a high number of PM 10 (tiny particulate matter of diameter 10 microns or less).
At ITI Jahangirpuri, the pollution level was 407 followed by Srinivaspuri at 313, both in the poor category.
In Chanakyapuri area where the US embassy is located, the AQI was 189 at 8 p.m. and at Jawahar Lal Nehru Stadium it was 168.
At no place, the AQI monitors showed less than 100. This data was compiled by AQI monitors.
Earlier during the day, the AQI was 313 at 9 a.m, 337 at 1 p.m. On Saturday too, the air quality was in the very poor category.
The PM 10 (tiny particulate matter of diameter 10 micron or less) matter reached the high of 515 mcg at Anand Vihar as per the Delhi government's air quality monitors.
In Wazirpur, the PM 2.5 matter crossed the 400-mark. Twenty-nine of the 37 air quality stations reported very poor AQI.
In 2018 Diwali, the AQI had crossed the 600-mark, 12 times the safe limit.
As per data, the AQI between 0 and 50 is considered safe, 51-100 satisfactory, 101-200 moderate, 201-300 poor. At 301-400, it's considered very poor and 401-500 falls in the severe category.
The above 500 is severe as well as the emergency category.
Mid-October to November is considered critical days for Delhi's air quality due to stubble burning in neighbouring states and emissions from firecrackers in Diwali.