The air quality in Delhi and NCR got more toxic on Monday with winds coming in from Punjab and Haryana where stubble burning continues unabated. According to the Central Pollution Control Board (CPCB), Delhi Technical University (DTU) in North Delhi, ITO in Central Delhi, Anand Vihar in West Delhi, areas in Ghaziabad and Noida had a ‘severe’ air quality Index by 2 PM on Monday. The average PM2.5 or particles with diameter less than 2.5mm, the major pollutant was 14 times the safe limit by afternoon in Delhi, with average AQI 358 considered very poor.

In Delhi, the AQI at DTU was recorded at 421 at 2 PM; with PM2.5 ranging 335-500 units between 6 AM to 2 PM. Pusa in Central Delhi was the area with the cleanest air in the national capital with AQI at ‘poor’ and average PM2.5 recorded at 117 units, four times the safe limit. At ITO, AQI was 403 at 2 PM with PM2.5 ranging 307-500 units from 9 AM to 2 PM; at Anand Vihar, it was 427 with PM2.5 ranging 308-500 units; Vasundhara in Ghaziabad had AQI of 444 with PM2.5 ranging 316-500 units and Sector 125 in Noida had AQI of 420 with PM2.5 ranging 318-500 units.

The CPCB’s data from other 13 monitoring stations across Delhi recorded ‘very poor’ AQI ranging from 304 at Aya Nagar to 396 at Punjabi Bagh.”Currently, Delhi is receiving north-westerly winds coming from Punjab and Haryana, this will continue for at least next two days,” Mahesh Palawat, Director of private weather forecaster Skymet, told IANS. The safe range for PM2.5 is 60 micrograms per cubic meter as per Indian standards and 25 units as per International norms.