A man wearing a mask rides bike through Raj Path as a thick layer of pollution haze hangs in New Delhi, India, Nov. 8, 2018. (Xinhua/Partha Sarkar)
NEW DELHI, Nov. 7 (Xinhua) -- The air pollution level in Indian capital city New Delhi and outskirts of the national capital region (NCR) remained in poor category on Wednesday, officials said.
According to the Central Pollution Control Board (CPCB), the overall air quality index (AQI) remained in poor category at 270.
The AQI in Delhi at 12:00 a.m. local time on Wednesday was recorded at 270, according to the data released by CPCB. The air quality is poor and prominent pollutants are PM 2.5 and PM 10.
On Tuesday the air quality in the city remained in very poor category at 338.
However, authorities fear that after the Diwali (Hindu festival of lights) celebrations, the air pollution in Delhi is expected to rise on Thursday.
"The air quality may turn to 'Severe Plus Emergency' category on Thursday possibly because of bursting of firecrackers today in view of the Diwali festival," an official said.
"PM 2.5 levels are expected to rise, which will push air quality back to 'emergency' on Thursday and Friday if Delhi bursts even 50 percent of firecrackers that it did on last year's Diwali."
Last year a thick toxic haze enveloped New Delhi and outskirts night after people set off firecrackers heavily to celebrate Diwali.
Authorities have already ordered a halt on all construction activities involving excavation in the capital until Saturday.
An aggressive 10-day-long Clean Air Campaign initiated by India's federal environment ministry began this month to monitor and report polluting activities and to ensure quick action.
Indian Environment Minister Harsh Vardhan said the government was making all possible efforts to maintain air quality and take action against violators.
Air pollution continues to worsen in New Delhi, especially in winter months.