New Delhi | Jagran News Desk: The air quality in Delhi on Sunday morning plunged to the 'severe' category despite a ban on the use and sale of firecracker across the National Capital Region (NCR). A thick blanket of smog was seen in several places, reducing the visibility in the city.

According to the data provided by the Delhi Pollution Control Committee (DPCC), the air quality index (AQI) near the ITO was 461 while it was 460 at Anand Vihar. Near the IGI Airport, the AQI was at 382 while it was 322 at Lodhi Road.

An AQI from 0 to 50 is considered good while 51 to 100 is considered as satisfactory. AQI between 101 to 200 is moderate while 201 to 300 and 301 to 400 is considered poor and very poor respectively. An AQI from 401 to 500 is severe while above 500 is hazardous.

Situation likely to improve from Sunday

However, the System of Air Quality and Weather Forecasting And Research (SAFAR) and India Meteorological Department (IMD) have expressed hopes that the AQI will likely improve in the Delhi-NCR from Sunday owing to light rains and an increase in the wind speed.

IMD head of forecasting centre Kuldeep Srivastava has said that the wind speed in the national capital will increase to 12 to 15 kilometres per hour due to "western disturbance" which will likely wash away the pollutants.

Firecrackers heard across Delhi despite ban

Despite a ban on the use and sale of firecrackers, bursting of crackers were heard across the Delhi-NCR, leading to a rise in pollution in the region. The Delhi government and the National Green Tribunal (NGT) had imposed a total ban on the use of firecrackers till November 30 in wake of the rising pollution. Though people across the region were violating the ban at several places.

"Everyone was posting images of clear blue skies during the COVID-19 lockdown. Now, we all can see how bad the pollution is. Bursting of cracker will make things worse," news agency PTI quoted a doctor from Delhi as saying.

10 arrested by Delhi Police for selling firecrackers

Meanwhile, the Delhi Police informed that 10 people were arrested and 12 cases were registered across the city for violating the ban on use and sale of firecrackers. The police had also said that it had deployed personnel in the region to keep a check on the use and sale of firecrackers.

"We have deployed adequate police personnel to check the illegal sale and bursting of firecrackers. Today also, personnel have been deployed and action will be taken against the offenders," a Delhi Police official said.

Posted By: Aalok Sensharma