New Delhi: Even two days after Diwali, a blanket of smog enveloped Delhi-NCR on Wednesday and the Air Quality Index remained in the very poor category of 392, according to the System of Air Quality and Weather Forecasting And Research.

According to reports, there is no respite in sight from the situation before Friday. Owing to Cyclone Kyarr, the skies will remain cloudy, though it won’t rain, and the winds won’t gather pace to blow away the smog. The north-westerly wind direction which is bringing pollution from stubble burning from the neighbouring districts to Delhi will not change immediately.

On Tuesday, the SAFAR said that the contribution of stubble burning to Delhi’s overall PM2.5 concentration was at the season’s high of 25% and may touch 29% today. Delhi’s worst AQI has been recorded in the last three days — 337 on Diwali day, 368 the day after and 400 on Tuesday.

The AAP government, on Tuesday, released the latest NASA images which showed a drastic increase in the stubble burning post-Diwali. 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 government said.

 

Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal appealed “with folded hands” to Punjab and Haryana to take concrete steps against stubble burning to prevent the national capital from turning into a “gas chamber”.

“I appeal to the Punjab and Haryana governments with folded hands on behalf of the residents of Delhi to take strong steps and prevent Delhi from becoming a gas chamber. At our level, we are making all possible efforts and will continue to do so,” he tweeted in Hindi.