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Delhi: AQI remains severe, thick layer of smog covers national capital

Even as the odd-even scheme is implemented in Delhi, pollution levels are alarmingly high.

New Delhi: The air quality of national capital took a hit due to a combination of firecracker emissions, stubble burning and unfavourable meteorological conditions in the past few weeks. A thick layer of smog blanketed the Rajpath area in Delhi on November 16. According to the Air Quality Index (AQI) data and System of Air Quality and Weather Forecasting and Research (SAFAR), major pollutants in Delhi’s Lodhi Road area were PM 2.5 at 500 and PM 10 at 500 both in 'severe' category. Higher value of AQI indicates greater level of air pollution and health concerns. Residents have complained of a spike in respiratory problems, allergies and other health issues. On November 1, the Supreme Court-mandated Environment Pollution (Prevention and Control) Authority (EPCA) declared public health emergency in Delhi due to rising air pollution levels. The stubble burning in Punjab and Haryana makes the situation in Delhi worse. To curb air pollution, the Arvind Kejriwal led-government had announced the implementation of the odd-even scheme in Delhi from November 4  to 15.