New Delhi | Jagran News Desk: Delhiites on Friday got a respite from air pollution as the air quality index (AQI) in the national capital improved to 'very poor' category. According to the Central Pollution Control Board (CPCB), the air quality in Delhi's Okhla Phase-2 was at 344 which falls in the 'very poor' category.

However, the government and other agencies have warned that the AQI in Delhi-NCR might once again enter the 'severe' category on Diwali night due to a "change in wind direction".

The India Meteorological Department (IMD) has said that the winds blowing over Delhi will start slowing down from Friday which might deteriorate the situation in Delhi-NCR.

"Even though we have forecast that this Diwali is likely to be better compared to the last few years, the weather is expected to be unfavourable. If people in the city burst crackers, then the pollution level could slip to ‘severe’ on Diwali day and a day after," IMD's environment monitoring research centre head VK Soni was quoted as saying by Hindustan Times.

However, the weather department has said that the situation will improve from Sunday as the "wind speed is expected to pick up thereafter". It added that there is a slight possibility of rain as well.

Meanwhile, the System of Air Quality and Weather Forecasting and Research (SAFAR) has warned that the impact of stubble burning is expected "to increase from negligible to moderate for the next two days".

"Even a smaller increment in the local additional emission is likely to have significant deterioration impact on November 14 and November 15, and may push the AQI in the severe category," the SAFAR said in a statement.

Posted By: Aalok Sensharma