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A "pollution emergency" prevailed in Delhi for the third straight day today as a toxic cloud of smog kept the city shrouded, a situation which is likely to persist for another 48 hours, authorities said. The levels of PM 2.5 and PM 10, which are ultrafine particulates, remained multiple times above the permissible limits, forcing people to breathe noxious air and triggering health complications. The Central Pollution Control Board said the level of pollutants are going up due to a "cumulative effect", under which pollution keeps on rising in the absence of any dispersion due to adverse weather conditions. "The air is already saturated with pollutants and there is hardly any dispersion. In a situation like this, whatever is getting added is cumulatively adding up to the prevailing levels thus keeping pollution in the emergency category," CPCB mmeber secretary A Sudhakar told PTI. The apex pollution regulator recorded an Air Quality Index (AQI) of 486 on a scale of 500 for the day in the national capital.
AQI of neighbouring Faridabad, Ghaziabad, Noida and Gurgaon were also in the emergency category. Sudhakar said north-westerly winds were still blowing over the capital, bringing smoke-laden air to the city. "The emergency situation will persist for a day at least. We are expecting some improvement from the second half of Saturday," he said. A sweeping set of measures including odd-even car rationing scheme, ban on civil construction activities, closure of schools and ban on entry of heavy vehicles except for those carrying essential commodities have been announced over the last two days to tackle the situation.
(This story has not been edited by Business Standard staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)