New Delhi: Delhi’s pollution level dipped slightly on Friday as stubble burning remained marginally low but authorities warned that the air quality would severely deteriorate from next week.

The overall Air Quality Index (AQI) of the national capital was recorded at 370, which falls in the “very poor" category, according to data by the Central Pollution Control Board (CPCB).

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" quality air, according to the CPCB data.

Faridabad recorded an AQI of 406, which falls in the “severe" category, while Ghaziabad, Gurgaon, Noida and Greater Noida recorded air of “very poor" 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.

The Indian Institute of Tropical Meteorology (IITM) said fire count 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," the IITM 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 the 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.

The Delhi Pollution Control Committee has also directed the transport department and the traffic police to intensify checking of polluting vehicles and control vehicular congestion in the region during November 1-10.

Around 43 teams have been formed by the North Delhi Municipal Corporation for night patrolling to check incidents of burning of garbage.

Nearly 110 vehicles have been tasked with sprinkling water on roads and 12 mechanical dust sweeping machines have also been deployed.

Underlining that steps taken by states to control stubble burning “are far from satisfactory", Union Environment Minister Harsh Vardhan on Thursday called for an “aggressive plan" to combat pollution in a crucial meeting that was skipped by the environment ministers of four states around Delhi, including Haryana and Punjab.

The meeting was called ahead of Diwali to discuss the plan for the next 10 days when the pollution level is expected to spike in the national capital due to localised reasons and regional factors like stubble burning.

He underlined that despite a decrease in incidents of stubble burning by 30 per cent from the previous year, more needed to be done.

Officials from four states - Punjab, Haryana, Rajasthan and Uttar Pradesh - and Delhi’s Environment Minister Imran Hussain took part in the meet, where Vardhan asked the Delhi government to ensure 100 per cent stoppage of open burning of domestic and industrial wastes.

This story has been published from a wire agency feed without modifications to the text. Only the headline has been changed

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