Wind directions changed by Tuesday noon, creating an outlet for the toxic air over the Delhi-NCR region and thereby improving the air quality to "very poor", from "severe" in the morning and "emergency" a day before. The authority has also urged people to use more public vehicles, claiming that around 40% of the air pollution is caused by vehicular emissions. Media reports pointed out that The Air Quality Index (AQI) near Mandir Marg reached PM 10 levels at 707 and PM 2.5 at 663.
Levels from 0-50 is considered "good", 51-100 "satisfactory", 101-200 "moderate", 201-300 "poor", 301-400 "very poor", and 401 and above is "severe".
Therefore, the pollutants would not move away, and the air quality might get dragged from severe to hazardous category.
"Even if 50% of the total load of toxic fire crackers as compared to Diwali previous year is added, the prevailing weather conditions would aggravate the high smoke level and make air quality to persist in "severe" category for at least two days (8 and 9 November)", said the report.
People residing in the national capital breathed easy on Wednesday after the air quality showed slight improvement due to increased wind speed and requisite control measures undertaken by the government.
"The highest levels of PM10 and PM2.5 are expected between 11 AM to 3 AM on Wednesday and Thursday".
Winds blowing from the northwest have been carrying biomass-burning pollutants, according to the Indian Institute of Tropical Meteorology.
It's an initiative by the Ministry of Environment, Forest and Climate Change in collaboration with the Delhi government and the other NCR cities, in order to combat the worsening conditions. As emergency measures are being taken to check pollution in Delhi-NCR, the government has banned diesel and petrol vehicles ranging from 10 to 15 years old.
Despite the Supreme Courts directives, people in Delhi-NCR on Wednesday continued to burst crackers on Diwali well past the 10 p.m. deadline though the air quality index (AQI) showed a slight improvement over previous year.
Amid fears of plunging air quality level in India's National Capital Region (NCR), the city administrators are contemplating an "only public transport" policy from the beginning of next month to fight pollution. Commuters and joggers faced discomfort following poor air quality in the morning.
On November 7, smoke from burning firecrackers would further add to pollution levels.
Tourists, including foreigners, visiting Delhi ahead of Diwali complained of having a tough time due to increasing air pollution in the city, with some even cutting short their trips citing health concerns.