New Delhi, Nov 9: As Delhi-NCR continues to breathe toxins for the second day in row, the major pollutants across all the monitoring stations in the region crossed the 'severe' level by Wednesday evening.
The data collected from the central government's 'System of Air Quality and Weather Forecasting And Research (SAFAR)' showed the PM 2.5 and PM10 (particles with diameter less than 2.5 and 10mm) were beyond 'severe', which is more than 500 units.
While the data varied at stations in the morning and noon with highest PM2.5 recorded over 900 units at R.K Puram in south Delhi and 726 units in central Delhi, after 5 p.m. the effluents were recorded as beyond "severe" at all the stations.
The safe limit for PM2.5 is 60 micrograms per cubic meter according to the national standards, and 25 micrograms per cubic meter as per the international standards.
The regions sharing common 'beyond severe' range for PM2.5 and 10 includes all the ten monitoring stations of SAFAR -- Dhirpur, Pitampura and Delhi University (North Campus) in north Delhi; Pusa and Lodhi Road in Central Delhi; Ayanagar and Mathura Road in South Delhi, Indira Gandhi International Airport; Noida in Uttar Pradesh and Gurugram in Haryana.
According to SAFAR, both PM2.5 and PM10 are expected to be 'severe-plus' on Thursday, November 9 as well.
Meanwhile, the Central Pollution Control Board (CPCB) at 6 p.m., fixed the average Air Quality Index (AQI) of Delhi at 492 -- close to 'severe-plus', while the average PM2.5 of 15 active monitoring stations was 491 units by 6 p.m.
The top polluting regions in Delhi-NCR where the PM2.5 had been beyond-severe since 11 p.m. on Tuesday, November 7 till 6 p.m. on Wednesday, include Lodhi Road, Mathura Road, Ayanagar, Punjabi Bagh, Pusa, Delhi University (north campus) and Noida, which recorded at 500 or "severe-plus".
The AQI and PM values at Anand Vihar in West Delhi, one of the most polluted regions of Delhi, could however not be retrieved as the Delhi Pollution Control Committee (DPCC) failed to provide data on Wednesday.
Meanwhile, urging to immediately augment public transport and stop stubble burning in neighbouring states, the green organisations called for "bold decisions" and "strong leadership" to tackle the situation.
According to the Centre for Science and Environment (CSE), the bus ridership had overall dropped by as much as 34 per cent.
"The range of actions recommended and directed by the Environment Pollution (Prevention and Control) Authority (EPCA) on Tuesday is targeted at doing just that, and it is now up to the political leadership of Delhi and NCR to take their implementation forward," Sunita Narain, CSE director general and EPCA member, said.
The Supreme Court-appointed EPCA on Tuesday made several recommendations including four times hike in parking fee and closing down all the construction activities and trucks mobility in Delhi. However, according to officials "inefficient enforcement" is causing the problem.