The widespread burning of firecrackers in neighbouring states of Delhi is also adding to the pollution woes of the national capital apart from stubble burning, according to a report by a government-run agency.
The air quality in Delhi-NCR Wednesday oscillated between poor and very poor categories. While the Central Pollution Control Board recorded the overall air quality index (AQI) in the national capital at 281, which falls in poor category, the Centre-run System of Air Quality Forecasting and Research (SAFAR) recorded it at 319, which falls in very poor category.
An AQI 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'.
"The fire counts are seen to be very high but it is a combination of stubble burning and widespread firecrackers in that region and need not be confused with stubble only fire," the SAFAR said in a report.
The report of the widespread burning of firecrackers comes even as the Supreme Court has fixed a two-hour time period from 8 pm to 10 pm for bursting of crackers on Diwali and other festivals.
The SAFAR also forecast the air quality would worsen on Wednesday evening and Thursday.
"The highest levels of PM10 (particles in the air with a diameter of less than 10 micrometres) and PM2.5 (particles in the air with a diameter of less than 2.5 micrometres) are expected between 11 AM to 3 AM on Wednesday and Thursday. Air Quality will be bad on November 8 and start to improve from Friday even if partial toxic crackers as compared to 2017 are burned," the government-run agency warned.
The SAFAR also said the combination of several rapidly changing weather parameters is playing a lead role in controlling the air pollution at this time.
The PM10 concentration of Delhi is expected to reach 575 and PM2.5 to 378 on Thursday, recording the worst air quality of the year if firecrackers are burnt, it said.