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The overall air quality in Delhi continued to remain in the 'very poor' category on Tuesday with an AQI recorded at of 337, as per the System of Air Quality and Weather Forecasting And Research (SAFAR).

Earlier on Monday, the national capital woke up to smog with the Air Quality Index (AQI) recorded at 340 by SAFAR.

Delhi Airport Terminal recorded an AQI of 343 under ‘very poor’ category. Similarly, Noida and Gurugram too breathed into the 'poor category' with AQI at 365 and 309 respectively. 

The air quality in Delhi’s Dhirpur area touched ‘severe’ category with an AQI of 410. 

Delhi University recorded an AQI of 333 while Mathura road recorded AQI of 332, Pusa recorded AQI of 326, as per SAFAR.

The Air Quality Index from 0 to 100 is considered as good, while from 100 to 200 it is moderate, from 200 to 300 it is poor, and from 300 to 400 it is said to be very poor and from 400 to 500 or above it is considered as severe.

Notably, in the wake of the rising air pollution, the Delhi government on Monday imposed a ban on plying BS-III petrol and BS-IV diesel four-wheelers in the city till 9 December. The decision was made by the Centre's air quality panel under the stage III of the Graded Response Action Plan (GRAP). The transporters' body informed to take out massive protest against the Aam Aadmi Party governments in Delhi and Punjab. They claimed that the decision of the Delhi government to be its conspiracy to impact tourism. They said that the Delhi government had banned the BS -III petrol and BS-IV diesel as part of its planning.

Prior to that on Sunday, the Commission for Air Quality Management (CAQM) announced a temporary ban on construction and demolition activities in Delhi-NCR as part of its Graded Response Action Plan (GRAP). The announcement came after the air quality in Delhi and the national capital region breached the 'severe' category.

The CAQM, which on Sunday chaired a meeting to review the air quality in Delhi-NCR, put out a release saying, "As the AQI in Delhi has slipped into 'severe' category, the sub-committee had decided that all actions, as envisaged under Stage III of the GRAP, be implemented in right earnest by all the agencies concerned, with immediate effect in the NCR, in addition to all action under Stage I and Stage II of the GRAP."

The panel had further observed that the air quality saw a further deterioration over the last 24 hours, with Delhi's overall Air Quality Index (AQI) at 407 on December 4, according to Central Pollution Control Board (CPCB).

In its order, the CAQM said it temporarily banned construction activities, "with the exception of Metro Rail services, including stations; airport and inter-state bus terminals; railway services/stations; national security/defence-related activities/ projects of national importance; hospitals/healthcare facilities; linear public projects such as highways, roads, flyovers, overbridges, power transmission, pipelines; sanitation projects like sewage treatment plants and water supply projects; ancillary activities specific to and supplementing above categories of projects".

Milk and dairy units and those involved in the manufacturing of life-saving medical equipment, drugs and medicines, were also exempted from the restrictions stipulated in the CAQM order. 

National capital Delhi faces an increasing impact of surging air pollution, especially during winters every year when farm burning from neighbouring Punjab, construction work and bursting of firecrackers increases the particulate matter in the air creating smog.

This in turn triggers surging respiratory ailments in Delhi residents.

(With inputs from ANI)

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