Delhi and neighbouring cities covered in smog

A thick blanket of toxic smog continued to grip Delhi and nearby cities for the second day today as the air quality index reading remained in the “severe” category.

Delhi’s AQI standing at 6 am was reported at 533, which puts it in the “severe category”. The AQI in adjoining areas of Noida, Gurugram, Ghaziabad and Greater Noida was even higher than Delhi.

“Relief is expected only from the evening of November 7 but AQI will fluctuate within the Very Poor range,” centre-run System of Air Quality and Weather Forecasting and Research or SAFAR said today.

Delhi’s air quality index plummeted to “severe” category on Friday, following the festival of Diwali as people violated the ban on firecrackers and the national capital woke up under a blanket of toxic smog. The Particulate Matter (PM) was the highest in the last three years at 457.

The concentrations of Particulate Matter (PM) 2.5 stood at 341 per cubic metre at Jantar Mantar in the city on Saturday morning – against the WHO’s prescribed safe limit of 25. Airborne PM2.5 can cause cardiovascular and respiratory diseases such as lung cancer.

Those with respiratory problems have been advised to stay indoors.