New Delhi: The air quality in the national capital and its adjoining regions continued to remain in the 'hazardous category' with the pollution level hovering near 400.

Notably, because of the thick blanket of smog in the morning, scores of commuters faced difficulty in reaching their offices on time as visibility was affected also causing slow movement of traffic at major junctions.

Taking note of the situation, German Chancellor Angela Merkel, who is on a visit to India, expressed concern over the air quality in Delhi. She proposed the need to replace diesel buses with electric buses as soon as possible.

"We will also earmark 200 million euros to reform bus sector in Tamil Nadu. Whoever has looked at pollution in Delhi yesterday would find very good arguments to replacing diesel buses with electric buses," Merkel was quoted as saying by news agency ANI at a business meeting in Delhi.

She said that Germany will spend one billion euros ($1.12 billion) in the next five years on green urban mobility projects conceived under the new German-Indian partnership. German funds will be used to finance several environment-friendly projects including electric buses.

Due to the prevailing weather conditions, the Delhi administration has announced to shut the schools till November 5. The Delhi government also has banned all construction activities.

According to the Air Quality Index (AQI) in Lodhi Road area, major pollutants PM 2.5 and PM 10 were recorded at 500 on Saturday.

An AQI between 0-50 is considered 'good', 51-100 'satisfactory', 101-200 'moderate', 201-300 'poor', 301-400 'very poor' and 401-500 'severe'. Above 500 falls in the 'severe plus' category.

In Uttar Pradesh's Noida, Moradabad, Hapur and Ghaziabad also, the air pollution was so severe that the locals were seen wearing masks while doing exercise today. AQI in Indirapuram was at 449 which falls in the 'hazardous category.'

The blanket of haze over Delhi had thickened on Friday morning with the national capital's pollution levels increasing overnight by around 50 points, taking the overall air quality index to 459.

A Central Pollution Control Board official said the AQI entered the "severe plus" or "emergency" category late Thursday night, the first time since January this year.

Meanwhile, Bangladesh team is scheduled to play a T20I at the Feroz Shah Kotla on Sunday severe polluted air  quality. It can be noted that two years ago, due  to  poor air  quality in Delhi, Sri Lanka cricket team members had suffered  from vomiting.

It is said that Bangladesh teammates are already experiencing itchy eyes and sore throats despite wearing masks during the training session.