New Delhi: The air quality index of Delhi deteriorated further and reached the 245 mark on Sunday, stated a report. The major cause of the air pollution was from the smoke emanating from neighbouring states as a result of crop residue burning, noted Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal on Saturday.

“It has been widely reported that the smoke coming to Delhi is due to the burning of stubble in Karnal, Haryana,” Kejriwal was quoted by news agency PTI as saying.

Thus the national capital city’s AQI on Sunday stood at 245 under the poor category. Note that an AQI between 0 and 50 falls under the ‘good’ category, between 51 and 100 is considered ‘satisfactory’, 101 and 200 is recorded to be ‘moderate’, 201 and 300 ‘poor’, 301 and 400 ‘very poor”, and 401 and 500 ‘severe’.

The Centre-run System of Air Quality and Weather Forecasting and Research had also estimated that the smoke from stubble burning will make up six per cent of Delhi’s pollution by October 15. Therefore, as part of a Graded Response Action Plan, stricter rules will be implemented from October 15 to control air pollution in Delhi and its neighbouring states. This kind of action plan was first implemented in Delhi-NCR in 2017.

For instance, diesel generator sets and brick kilns will be banned, and trucks will be denied entry in Delhi. The most significant measure is the introduction of the odd-even car rationing scheme by the Kejriwal government in Delhi.

Meanwhile, on Friday, a 10-member task force on the Graded Response Action Plan discussed on stubble burning incidents reported from Punjab and Haryana and its likely impact on Delhi-NCR’s air quality. With the monsoon withdrawal, the winds are calm and this leads to low dispersion of pollutants, mentioned V K Soni, a senior scientist at the India Meteorological Department, during the meeting.

It must be noted that farmers continue to burn the crop residue despite a ban in Punjab and Haryana.