Delhi's air quality continues to remain in the "very poor" category on Friday with the Air Quality Index (AQI) hovering at 323, according to SAFAR (System of Air Quality and Weather Forecasting And Research).
An AQI between 0-50 is marked good, 51-100 is satisfactory, 101- 200 is moderate, 201- 300 is poor, 301-400 is very poor and 401-500 is considered severe.
In Delhi, pollutants levels PM 10 was recorded at 195 and PM2.5 at 103. SAFAR has advised people to go out after wearing N-95 masks or P-100 respirators. Experts say if people are exposed to this air quality for a prolonged time it may cause them respiratory illness.
Meanwhile, India Meteorological Department (IMD) said that cold wave conditions at isolated places likely over Delhi during 26-28 November due to likely fall in minimum temperatures over northwest India. Moderate to dense fog was observed in isolated pockets over Delhi on Thursday.
Earlier on Tuesday, Delhi Environment Minister Gopal Rai urged the Commission for Air Quality Management (CAQM) to make the bio-decomposer technology mandatory for all states, stating pollution levels in the national capital rise with an increase in stubble burning.
Rai also informed that the Delhi government had filed a petition with the Centre's newly constituted commission on Monday on the basis of a report by a 15-member impact assessment committee, which showed the effect of the new technology in Delhi.
The Delhi government, along with PUSA, developed a bio-composer which Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal had earlier claimed could decompose 70 to 95 per cent of crop residue. The government's claims that stubble burning in Punjab, Haryana, Uttar Pradesh and Rajasthan have significantly contributed to the hazardous levels of air pollution in the national capital.
During a COVID-19 review meeting, Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal sought Prime Minister Narendra Modi's intervention to get rid of pollution due to stubble burning, while citing pollution as an important factor behind the surge of coronavirus cases in Delhi.
However, he had said that coronavirus cases in the national capital have been steadily decreasing after November 10.
Delhi Health Minister Satyendar Jain had also said that pollution caused by stubble-burning has led to the high number of COVID-19 deaths in Delhi.
On Thursday, Delhi reported 5,475 new cases of coronavirus and 91 deaths. The total cases in the national capital are 5,51,262 including 38,734 active cases while the death toll is at 8,811.