New Delhi: NASA satellites have picked-up several 'red spots' inside Delhi over the last couple of days, indicating that incidents of waste burning in the open, despite a ban, are still rampant in the national capital.

Bhure Lal, chairman of Environment Pollution (Prevention and Control) Authority said, "NASA satellites have picked up several red dots within Delhi, in areas such as Narela, Najafgarh, and Bawana. Red dots have also appeared in Gurugram. These, however, can’t be incidents of stubble burning as agriculture is not practiced in these areas. These dots mostly likely indicate burning of plastic and garbage in the open in industrial areas".

Such incidents could worsen Delhi's already deteriorating air quality, and the EPCA has asked the Delhi Pollution Control Committee (DPCC) and other government agencies to step up their scrutiny.

The red dots that appeared on NASA's Fire Information for Resource Management System indicate active fires, including stubble burning, forest fires, and garbage burning.

A senior official of the DPCC said, "A satellite won’t be able to detect small fires such as a burning matchstick or a chulla (oven) inside a house. The fire has to be big, generate a huge amount of heat and should continue for a few hours for satellites to detect it".

The Air Quality Index (AQI) for Delhi on Saturday was 209. 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.