According to Centre-run System of Air Quality and Weather Forecasting And Research (SAFAR), a thick blanket of smog has engulfed the region on Tuesday as the air quality has plummeted to hazardous category with 423 in the morning.
Delhi recorded its worst air quality of the season on Monday, with pollution levels inching towards "severe plus emergency" category due to a change in wind direction and rampant stubble burning in neighbouring states.
Across 35 areas in Delhi, where pollution is actively monitored, the average concentration of PM2.5 and PM10 was 230 and 353 microgrammes per cubic meters on Wednesday at 6 p.m.
"The wind speed and ventilation index are highly unfavourable for dispersion of pollutants", it had said.
In NCR, Ghaziabad recorded the worst air quality with an AQI of 473.
According to the SAFAR, the overall air quality in Delhi is expected to remain in "severe" range until December 25. The index was 5000 sqm/second on Tuesday, the IITM had said. Surface wind speeds have come down and the mixing height or room available for vertical dispersion has come down as well.
As the national capital battles "severe" air quality, the All India Institute of Medical Sciences (AIIMS) reported a surge in the number of patients visiting the hospital with cardiac and respiratory diseases.
The meeting was attended by officials from the North, South and East MCDs, NDMC, Delhi Development Authority (DDA), Delhi Cantonment Board, Revenue Department, Environment and Forest Department, Public Works Department, Transport Department, Power Department, Industries Department and the Delhi Pollution Control Committee (DPCC) among others. "Minimum temperatures very likely to fall by 2-3 degree Celsius over many parts of northwest, central and west India during next three-four days", the Indian Meteorological Department said.
An AQI between 0 and 50 is considered "good", 51 and 100 "satisfactory", 101 and 200 "moderate", 201 and 300 "poor", 301 and 400 "very poor", and 401 and 500 "severe".
He asked all three MCDs to ensure control of instances of burning in the open and compliance with dust control measures, failing which senior officers should be held accountable. On Monday, as many as 32 areas in the city recorded "severe" air quality while it was "very poor" in five areas, the CPCB data showed.
They were also directed to ensure that during the periods of ban on construction, no one indulges in such activities and that violators are strictly dealt with as per law.