New Delhi: The air quality in Delhi and its neighbouring cities breached the ‘poor’ level mark and deteriorated further on Friday as the wind speed dropped to almost zero. Very poor levels of air quality were recorded in Bawana, Narela, Delhi Technological University, Mundka, Dwarka Sector 8 and Anand Vihar of the national capital. The air quality in Gurugram and Ghaziabad was also ‘very poor.’ Also Read - 2 Shifts, No Assembly: Students Return to School in Delhi After Hiatus of 10-Month | Key Points

According to the Central Pollution Control Board, the air quality index (AQI) value in Delhi touched 256 on Friday. While the AQI value in Ghaziabad stood at 302, the AQI value in Gurugram was recorded at 336. During the month of November, Delhi suffers from severe air pollution. The AQI value in Delhi during the winter of 2017 hit a peak of 486 on November 9. An AQI value between 200 and 300 is considered ‘poor’, while a value between 300 and 400 is taken to be ‘very poor’. Also Read - Tragedy on Delhi-Jaipur Highway: Bus Overturns Near Neemrana, Injured Rushed to Hospital

A senior official of the CPCB told The Hindustan Times, “Pollution levels are shooting up primarily because of unfavourable meteorological conditions. First, the wind speed was recorded at zero during most of the time since Thursday. Second, when wind speed picked up, it was coming from the northwest direction, where stubble burning is going on.” On Friday, Delhi Environment Minister Imran Hussain requested the Union Environment Minister Harsh Vardhan, in a written letter, to direct neighbouring state such as Punjab, Haryana, Rajasthan and Uttar Pradesh to take effective action against stubble burning. Also Read - 4 Flights to/From Delhi Airport Delayed, 1 Cancelled Due to Dense Fog & Zero Visibility

A senior official of the Delhi Pollution Control Committee (DPCC) reportedly said, “The levels of particulate matter – both coarse natural dust and ultrafine particles that are emitted by vehicles, industries and garbage burning – are shooting up. While the level of PM10 (coarse dust particles) shot up 2.7 times above the permissible limits, the level of PM2.5 (ultrafine particles) was at least two times above the safe limits at around 6 pm.”