New Delhi: With the air quality plunging into ‘very poor’ category post-Diwali, Delhi government on Tuesday released NASA images showing crop burning in the neighbouring states of Punjab and Haryana. The latest NASA images showed a drastic increase in the stubble burning in the last 24 hours.

Despite repeated calls to stop the practice, the stubble burning counts have increased from 1,654 to 2,577 in Punjab and Haryana in the last 24 hours. The wind direction suggests that stubble plume could increase from both the neighbouring states.

A day after Diwali celebrations, air quality in the national capital and Noida turned ‘very poor’. The overall air quality index was recorded 306 in Delhi and 356 in Noida on Monday morning, news agency ANI reported. Emission from firecrackers and stubble burning in adjoining areas of National Capital Region increased the pollution level.

According to the Air Quality Index (AQI) data, major pollutant PM 2.5 was at 500 in ‘Severe’ category, in Lodhi road area. Besides, the pollution level at Hapur area 657, which is considered ‘Hazardous’.  The situation is expected to worsen in the coming week.

On Tuesday, the national capital’s air quality index (AQI) turned hazardous with thick haze covering the city and the AQI index shooting up sharply with the increased stubble burning in Panjab and Haryana.

As per US Embassy figures, the AQI count for pollutant PM 2.5 is 350 on Tuesday evening. AQI values over 300 trigger health warnings of emergency conditions. The entire population is even more likely to be affected by serious health effects, according to the advisory.

Though the AQI had moderated in the morning, it worsened in the afternoon around 1 p.m. and hit a peak score of 355 at 4 p.m., as per US Embassy data.

In another development, the Safar India on Tuesday said that the stubble plume from northwest regions has become one of the significant factors in deteriorating Delhi’s air quality.