Delhi was "gasping for breath" on Monday when air pollution dipped to "very poor", prompting residents to tweet that it's time to flee the city. The air quality index (AQI) in the morning was recorded at 374, which falls in the 'very poor' category, according to System of Air Quality and Weather Forecasting And Research (SAFAR).
In Delhi, the overall PM2.5 (particles in the air with a diameter of less than 2.5 micrometres) was recorded at 264 against the safe limit of 60. The PM2.5 also called "fine particulates," can be a matter of more serious health concern than PM10.
The PM10 level in Delhi stood at 374 against the safe limit of 100, as per SAFAR.
An AQI of 0-100 is considered 'Good+Satisfactory', 101 to 200 'moderate', 201 to 300 'poor', 301 to 400 'very poor' and 401 to 500 'severe', as per SAFAR.
|DATA SOURCE: aqicn.org/city/delhi/|
The Indian Institute of Tropical Meteorology (IITM) had warned of a sharp increase in PM2.5 concentration from Monday.
Delhi is now experiencing the worst AQI so far this year. The live streaming camera captured this ghostly looking image of Connaught Place this morning.#delhipollution #smog #india #airpollution #aqi #pollution #delhi pic.twitter.com/VsJOyVt4qe— AQI (@AQI_India) November 5, 2018
"If significant stubble burning continues on Sunday and Monday in the NW (northwest) region of India then its impact is very likely over Delhi and AQI may reach the upper end of the very poor category.
"The northwest wind direction may bring the influence of biomass fire on Tuesday and Wednesday," the IITM said.
An official with the Centre-run System of Air Quality Forecasting and Research (SAFAR) said despite moderate wind speed, the pollution in Delhi rose due to stubble burning from the neighbouring states.
"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.
"The contribution of stubble burning to pollution in the national capital is expected to be 24 per cent on Monday," another official said.
A thick haze also engulfed the national capital which reduced the visibility drastically, authorities said.
While some people voiced concern for children and senior citizens, others called the national capital 'worst place' in terms of quality living.
I stick to the notion, Delhi is the worst place when it comes to quality-living. #DelhiPollution— Enjeela Shakeel (@EnjeelaShakeel) October 27, 2018