Indian capital in grip of severe air pollution

Source: Xinhua| 2018-10-24 15:10:54|Editor: Yurou
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NEW DELHI, Oct. 24 (Xinhua) -- Air quality in Delhi continued to be in poor category for the third day on Wednesday, with barely two weeks to go for Diwali, the festival of lights, when pollution levels peak.

In the morning, air quality index (AQI) was recorded at 246. This was according to data by state-owned System of Air Quality and Weather Forecasting And Research (SAFAR).

An AQI between O and 50 is said to be good, 51 and 100 satisfactory, 101 and 200 moderate, 201 and 300 poor, 301 and 400 very poor and 401 and 500 severe.

Delhi's air quality was in the poor category Monday and Tuesday also.

Delhi's Environment Minister Imran Hussain on Tuesday reviewed an action plan for implementing the Graded Response Action Plan (GRAP).

GRAP kicks in when AQI touches severe levels as mandated by the country's Supreme Court.

"The environment minister directed all officers and agencies to be in war mode to combat air pollution," the environment department said in a statement.

It was Tuesday only that the Supreme Court had ordered a partial ban on bursting of crackers during Diwali.

The court had ruled that people in the country can burst firecrackers from 8 p.m. to 10 p.m. only on Diwali and other festivals as it permitted the sale of only "green firecrackers."