The air quality index (AQI) in Delhi-National Capital Region (NCR) was 448 or in "severe" category on Monday owing to a cold wave in North India that has led to temperatures dipping as low as 3 degree Celsius.
The CPCB warned on Monday that the overall air quality index (AQI) in the Indian capital is still at a risky level of 449.
With pollution reaching severe levels, chief minister Arvind Kejriwal on Tuesday said that the Centre should call a meeting of Delhi's neighbouring states to discuss the issue as air doesn't follow a boundary and only one state can not check it.
"Wind speed and other meteorological factors remained highly unfavourable for dispersion of pollutants today for the second consecutive day", a meteorological department official said. Ghaziabad at 326 and Greater Noida at 320 had "very poor" air while Gurgaon, surprisingly, had a moderate AQI of 112.
Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal on December 18 had said his government is mulling over a new electric vehicle policy to reduce pollution in the national capital.
Delhi's air quality turned "severe" on Saturday. The index was 5,500 sqm/second Wednesday, the IITM said.
Even as air pollution level was creating "emergency-like conditions" in the Capital, Mr. Kejriwal was yet to "understand the seriousness" of it, said the BJP.
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According to the Indian Institute of Tropical Meteorology (IITM), the air quality is likely to improve on Tuesday, but will remain in the upper end of the "very poor to severe" category.
"Recovery got delayed mainly due to slowing of wind speed, leading to persistence of fog which rapidly multiplied finer particles, leading to rapid increase in PM2.5 and even PM1 (fine particulate matter in the air with a diameter of less than 1 micrometre)", it said.
In terms of the cities in NCR, Faridabad at 236 and Noida at 272 also stayed in the "poor" zone in terms of AQI. "The pollution level continues to be risky for the third day but Mr. Kejriwal has not awakened. he has not paid heed to the Delhi BJP's demand to call an All Party Meeting [to discuss] the issue", said Delhi BJP chief Manoj Tiwari. "The AQI will go back to the very poor category by tonight for the next three days", it had said.
In some parts of Delhi, pollution levels hit 654 on Monday, among the worst recorded this year, and visibility in some parts of the city was just 200 metres, the weather department said.
They were also directed to ensure that during the periods of ban on construction, no one indulges in such activities and that violators are strictly dealt with as per law.
Earlier on Tuesday, the CPCB data had shown the overall the AQI at "severe" level of 408, the SAFAR had shown an AQI of 385 which falls in the very poor category.