New Delhi: The air quality in the national capital has been deteriorating over the past few days. On Saturday evening, the air quality was recorded at the PM 10 level at 278 in ‘Poor’ category on Air Quality Index (AQI), at Lodhi Road.Also Read - Delhi Pollution Update: Govt Bans Construction Work, Entry of Trucks till This Date

Several factors like vehicular pollution, construction activities and meteorological factors like wind speed are believed to be responsible for continuing pollution in the city. Also Read - Russian President Vladimir Putin to Visit New Delhi on December 6 For 21st India-Russia Annual Summit

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Environment Minister Imran Hussain on Thursday formed a six-member inspection team to check air pollution. The six-member team comprises a representative of Deputy Commissioner (Revenue), Delhi Police, PWD, two representatives of MCD and New Delhi Municipal Council (NDMC), and a representative of Delhi Pollution Control Committee (DPCC) – area in-charge, not below the rank of Environmental Engineer.

The members will keep a check on the “ground level steps” being taken by various municipal and local bodies — North and East Municipal corporation, Public Works Department (PWD) and Delhi Cantonment Board (DCB) – for prevention, control and mitigation of air pollution in Delhi.

On Monday, an emergency plan to combat air pollution came into force in Delhi-NCR. The Graded Response Action Plan (GRAP), which has come into effect for the second year, ensures stringent actions are taken based on the air quality.

Under the plan, measures like mechanised sweeping of roads, ban on garbage burning, pollution control measures at brick kilns and deployment of police to ensure smooth passage of traffic at vulnerable areas are in force in Delhi-National Capital Region (NCR) as the air quality lies in the poor category.

Air pollution in Delhi and nearby states increases particularly due to burning of paddy straw during October and November and wheat straw during April in Punjab and Haryana. Recently, NASA had released images showing rampant stubble burning activity in the two states. On its official website, it had stated that burning of crop residue in Punjab and Haryana has increased significantly over the past 10 days in and near Amritsar, Ambala, Karnal, Sirsa, and Hisar.