The task force said that at the beginning of November the situation may further deteriorate on account of localised emissions during festivals and regional contribution due to stubble burning. The overall Air Quality Index of the national capital was recorded at 369 which falls in the very poor category, according to SAFAR (System of Air Quality and Weather Forecasting and Research).
Delhi on Monday woke up to a hazy morning.
According to Faridabad's pollution monitoring station, the PM2.5 or particles with diameter less than 2.5 mm, was found 1,515 microgrammes per cubic metres at 9 a.m., while by 12 p.m.it dropped to 1,457 units and 1,452 units by 1 p.m.
Shutdown of coal and biomass based industries (excluding thermal and waste-to-energy plants) from November 4 to 10, intensification of efforts by transport department to check polluting vehicles and controlling traffic congestion in Delhi-NCR between November 1 and 10.
Out of 48 monitored station across NCR (including Delhi), only four had "moderate to poor" air quality while 18 stations has "severe or severe-plus" air quality and 26 were "very-poor". In such times, people in cities like Delhi experience breathing problems due to an increase in pollution level.
The task force also issued an advisory to the public, asking them to avoid outdoor strenuous activities and minimise use of private vehicles.
It has forecast even worse indices for Sunday - 359 (PM10) and 211 (PM2.5).
"Delhi needs to reduce pollution by 74 per cent to meet clean air standards". The highest AQI of this season was recorded Friday at 361. "The weather conditions include wind direction, temperature etc", he said.
Government authorities have issued warning for Delhiites, advising to keep windows shut, wear masks, prefer short walks, minimise use of private vehicles to battle against the risky levels of air pollution in the city.
The most recent air pollution data from the World Health Organisation released in March this year gave India the dubious distinction of having the world's ten most polluted cities. "The challenge is the capability and capacity of the government to do proper enforcement", said Ms Anumita Roy Chowdhury, executive director of the Centre for Science and Environment.
People wearing pollution masks in Delhi.