Delhi's air quality remained in the "very poor" category on Thursday, with NCR in tandem with the national capital compelling pollution watchdog Cental Pollution Control Board (CPCB) to ask agencies to join social media so that citizens can lodge complaints on pollution directly.
According to the Centre-run System of Air Quality and Weather Forecasting (SAFAR), the overall air quality index (AQI) in the city was recorded at 310, which falls in the "very poor" category.
At 392, the overall air quality of Greater Noida was the worst in the National Capital Region (NCR), just points below the "severe" category. Gurgaon, Faridabad, Noida and Ghaziabad too recorded "very poor" overall air quality.
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".
On Thursday, the PM2.5 level (particles in the air with a diameter of less than 2.5 micrometre level) was recorded at 133, while the PM10 level was recorded at 266, the CPCB data said.
"At present, winds are unfavourable for dispersion which allows pollutants to accumulate. Humidity is still high which is unfavourable," the SAFAR said in its report, adding that fire counts from stubble burning has declined but it will have a marginal impact on the overall situation.
Meanwhile, the CPCB directed public and enforcement agencies to immediately join social media platforms like Twitter and Facebook on which citizens can lodge their complaints on pollution directly, noting that actions of these bodies have been "inadequate".
The directions have been made to the NDMC, SDMC, EDMC, DMRC, CPWD, DDA and the state pollution control boards of Delhi, Rajasthan, Haryana, Punjab and Uttar Pradesh, among other public bodies.
On Monday, the Supreme Court-appointed Environment Pollution Control Authority Chairperson Bhure Lal had also lashed out at enforcement agencies, alleging that Delhi's civic and urban bodies are "not properly implementing" the directions issued to curb pollution.
Scientists at IIT Kanpur however said despite their preparations, they were not certain about when the cloud seeding could be done as they are waiting for meteorological conditions to fall into place.
In 2016, the government tried to explore the possibility of cloud seeding for artificial rain but the plan never worked out. China has been using cloud seeding to create rains for many years. The US, Israel, South Africa and Germany have also used the technology.