People in Delhi woke up to a chilly morning today, with the minimum temperature at 12.4 degrees Celsius. The air quality in the city and its neighbouring regions however, continued to be a cause of grave concern.
According to the centre-run System of Air Quality and Weather Forecasting (SAFAR), the overall air quality index (AQI) in the city was recorded at 387, which falls in the "Very Poor" category.
The level of PM2.5 - particles in the air with a diameter of less than 2.5 micrometres - was recorded at 248, while the PM10 level was recorded at 402.
"Severe" pollution was recorded in some areas because of certain weather conditions such as high humidity and low wind speed.
An AQI of 429, which falls under the "Severe" category was recorded in Delhi's Anand Vihar at 9 am which slightly improved to 378, bringing it down to the "Very Poor" category by mid-morning.
The level of PM2.5 and PM10 - particles in the air with a diameter of less than 10 micrometres - in the region was recorded at 318 and 378 respectively.
Thirteen areas in Delhi recorded 'severe' air quality and 23 recorded 'very poor' air quality, according to data of the Central Pollution Control Board (CPCB).
An Air Quality Index between 0 and 50 is considered "good", 51 and 100 "satisfactory", 101 and 200 "moderate", 201 and 300 "poor", 301 and 400 "very poor", and 401 and 500 "severe".
With the pollution levels in Delhi remaining dismally stagnant, quick, desperate measures such as artificially induced rain are being considered to wash away and clear pollutants from the air and help the city combat the hazardous effects of the acute pollution.
Union Minister Mahesh Sharma expressed his concern and said in a statement on Tuesday that the centre will send out a notification to induce artificial rain or cloud seeding in the national capital if the pollution aggravates.
Authorities said that artificial rain may be induced this week if the weather conditions are suitable. Presently, high humidity and low wind speed are posing as major hindrances and making the atmosphere unfavorable for artificial rain.
(With inputs from PTI)