New Delhi: The national capital and its adjoining areas continued to be shrouded by a thick layer of toxic smog on Saturday as the major pollutants PM 2.5 and PM 10 docked at 500, which falls in the severe category. Notably, Delhi-NCR has been reeling under alarming pollution levels for the last couple of weeks due to the stubble burning in Punjab and Haryana, as claimed by the Arvind Kejriwal-led Delhi government.

Coming to the present situation, the overall air quality index was recorded over 400 at many places in the capital city. At Indirapuram the AQI was recorded 437, Loni (440), Vasundhara (430), all in severe category.  An AQI between 201 and 300 is considered ‘poor’, 301-400 ‘very poor’ and 401-500 ‘severe’, while the AQI above 500 falls in the severe plus category.

Earlier on Friday, the Supreme Court had reprimanded the Delhi government over the deteriorating situation. “Delhi is suffering badly, the Air Quality Index (AQI) is almost 600 even today. How do people breathe?” the Supreme Court asked the Arvind Kejriwal-led government.

Besides, the court also pulled up the Centre over the matter and asked it to prepare a road map for installation of air purifying towers across Delhi to deal with pollution crisis.A bench led by CJI Ranjan Gogoi also reprimanded the Kejriwal-led government over its claim that the Odd-Even has helped in tackling pollution.

The top court stated that the rationing scheme was ‘half-baked’ and despite its implementation, pollution levels increased.

However, Attorney General Mukul Rohatgi, who represented the Delhi government said that the  pollution level was reduced by 5-15 per cent due to Odd-even scheme and that the result will be better if no exemption is given under the scheme. “The real culprit of Delhi pollution is stubble burning. Last year no study was done on impact of Odd-Even”, Rohatgi claimed.