As the onset of winter has brought in thick smog, Delhi has woken up to a blanket of hazy dust with the air remaining toxic.
The overall Air Quality Index (AQI) of Delhi was recorded at 342, which falls in the "very poor" category, according to data of System of Air Quality and Weather Forecasting And Research (SAFAR).
An AQI between 0-50 is considered good, 51-100 is satisfactory, 101-200 moderate, 201-300 poor, 301-400 very poor and 401-500 is marked as severe/hazardous.
At Dhirpur, the AQI was 337 at 9:30 am, while in Mathura Road area, it dipped to 'very poor' category at 350. Furthermore, AQI near Pitampura, Airport Terminal 3 and Delhi University stood at 343, 319 and 350, respectively.
Officials say the haze will continue to persist during the early mornings and late evenings for the next few days.
The Environment Pollution (Prevention & Control) Authority had issued a notification predicting that air quality between November 1 and 10 will rise to 'severe' category. Experts believe this change has occurred because of the western disturbance that hit the Himalayan region in October, resulting in a dip in temperature and rise in the percentage of moisture in the air.
The residents of Delhi and the National Capital Region (NCR) have been advised to avoid all outdoor activities, keep medicines handy in case of respiratory diseases and curb the use of private cars and two-wheelers.
The minimum and maximum temperatures in Delhi throughout the day will be around 17 degree Celsius and 29-degree Celsius, respectively, with haze in the atmosphere.
Taking cognisance of the deteriorating air quality across the globe, the World Health Organisation on October 29 had released a report titled Air Pollution and Child Health which stated more than 60,000 children died from respiratory infections caused by air pollution.
It also added that around 93 per cent of the world's children under the age of 15 (1.8 billion approx) are exposed to high levels of PM 2.5. Worst are those living in developing countries where 98 per cent of children are exposed to very unhealthy air.
In its report, the organisation suggested that renewable energy, clean cooking and lighting technologies and better waste management can reduce air pollution load.