New Delhi: Delhi’s air quality continues to worsen as the air quality index was in the “severe” category in the 400-500 range in many areas of the national capital on Saturday.

Pollution levels have been at their highest level since January, with some places in Delhi close to reaching close to 500 in the index. PM 2.5 concentrations were above 400 micrograms per cubic metre in many areas at 11 am, almost seven times higher than the safe limit of 60 micrograms per cubic metre.

The latest air quality forecast has warned that the situation is going to get worse right now. This clearly gives an indication that the air quality for at least a few days will remain in the “very poor” category.

Meanwhile, AAP workers today staged a protest in front of the Delhi Lieutenant Governor’s office, claiming that they deliberately did not approve their ‘red light on, gaadi off’ campaign aimed at reducing pollution. The LG, however, hit back, saying the AAP “lied” about the launch date of the campaign.

Often, the Lieutenant Governor appointed by the central government is on the target of AAP, the party is also accusing him of taking “political vendetta” on the direction of the central government.

According to the information, at 1 pm, Delhi’s overall AQI was 400, Faridabad 396, Greater Noida 395, Noida 390 and Ghaziabad 380. 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’.

Experts assert that the deterioration in air quality is due to wind direction and wind speed, leading to an increase in farm fire incidents as well as accumulation of pollutants. Pollution around Diwali was the lowest in 7 years.

The air quality in the national capital started deteriorating from October 24 with the AQI moving from ‘poor’ to ‘very poor’ category. The pollution level rose on the night of October 23 due to bursting of crackers and increase in the number of farm fires.

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