Two days before Diwali, residents of Delhi and its neighbouring cities woke up to dense smog this morning. The capital's weather index showed a sharp decline in air quality across the city. While the Air Quality Index in Delhi's Anand Vihar showed a reading of 912, which means 'hazardous' pollution, other pollution indicators showed a spike too. PM2.5, which is considered very harmful to health, showed a reading of 644 or over 20 times the safe limit prescribed by the WHO. PM10 pollutant showed a reading of 785, which too is nearly 30 times the safe limit.
PM2.5 pollutant are tiny particles that can enter the lungs and bloodstream and cause serious harm. Children, the elderly and those with respiratory ailments like asthma suffer the most from Delhi's hazardous smog. Smog kills more than one million Indians every year and Delhi has the worst air of any major city on the planet, the World Health Organization says.
Here are the highlights of the pollution and weather in Delhi:
"As expected there is a significant intrusion of bio-mass generated pollution in Delhi which is increasing pollution levels and made it very poor in spite of moderate surface wind speed," he said.