The air quality in Delhi and neighbouring areas continued to improve slightly on Saturday, continuing the trend for fourth consecutive day after declining to 'severe' level on Tuesday.
Meanwhile, authorities detected stubble burning in Uttar Pradesh for the first time this season after Punjab and Haryana which they said may add to the pollution woes of the national capital
The overall air quality index of Delhi was recorded at 369 on Saturday morning 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 210 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 (particles in the air with a diameter of less than 10 micrometres) in Delhi stood at 334 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.
In NCR, barring Noida and Gurugram, there was a marginal improvement in PM2.5 and PM10 levels
The improvement came after the environment panel imposed curbs on some industries from November 1 amid forecasts that pollution may worsen.
The South Delhi Municipal Corporation said around 1,582 challans were issued for violations in the zones under it.
The Supreme Court-appointed Environment Pollution Control Authority (EPCA), which is monitoring the pollution levels, announced restrictions on construction activities, hot mix plants, coal and biomass-based industries, brick kilns and stone crushers in the NCR.
It added that it could also restrict the movement of private vehicles and entry of trucks to Delhi, if needed.
The state pollution control bodies have been directed to initiate criminal prosecution against violators.
Meanwhile, Delhi civic bodies have slapped fines to the tune of Rs 3 million for pollution violations.
According to reports, the Environment Ministry is likely to come out with its National Clean Air Programme (NCAP) next month, which proposes multiple strategies to combat air pollution.
The EPCA has urged people to reduce the use of private vehicles and completely stop plying diesel vehicles during this period.