New Delhi | Jagran News Desk: The Delhiites on Diwali woke up to a hazy morning as the city continued to remain engulfed in a blanket of smog while the air quality index (AQI) once again entered the 'severe' category at several places.

According to the data provided by the Central Pollution Control Board (CPCB), the AQI in Anand Vihar was 424 while it was 400 near ITO. In RK Puram, the AQI was 354 while it was 328 near the IGI Airport.

An AQI between 0-50 is considered as good, 51-100 as satisfactory, 101- 200 as moderate, 201- 300 as poor, 301-400 as very poor and 401-500 as severe.

The Delhiites on Friday had got a respite from air pollution as the AQI in the Delhi-NCR improved to 'very poor'. However, the weather experts had warned that the AQI will enter the 'severe' category on Diwali again and the situation might get worse for those living in the region.

"During this period the meteorological conditions are not favourable for good dispersion of air pollutants and further there will be little additional emission from firecrackers and traffic. Although the government has taken a lot of steps to control air pollution, still these external emissions will impact negatively," Dr VK Soni, Head, Environment and Research Centre of IMD, was quoted as saying by news agency ANI.

However, the Delhiites will get a respite post Diwali as the wind speed will likely increase from Sunday, improving the AQI in the region. The India Meteorological Department (IMD) has said that light rains are also expected on Sunday which will likely wash away most of the pollutants in Delhi-NCR.

"The key this year will be to enforce the cracker ban effectively. Last year, because of an early Diwali, and better enforcement, we saw our first 'severe' air day only after Diwali. But this year, we have already experienced a week of severe air quality," Hindustan Times quoted a Centre for Science and Environment (CSE) official as saying.

Posted By: Aalok Sensharma