New Delhi: The falling air quality in the Delhi-National Capital Region (NCR) has pressed the panic button with the state government and Centre running to adopt measures to get some relief. 
On Saturday, the  air pollution level dipped slightly but remained in the 'very poor' category, authorities said.

The overall Air Quality Index (AQI) of Delhi was recorded at 346, which falls in the 'very poor' category, according to data of the Central Pollution Control Board (CPCB) mainly due to poor dispersion of pollutants and stagnant meteorological conditions.

Wazirpur recorded 'severe' air quality, while 34 other areas recorded 'very poor' air quality, according to the CPCB data.

The PM2.5 level was recorded at 175. Fine particulates can be a matter of serious health concern than PM10 (particles in the air with a diameter of less than 10 micrometres).

As per the data by the Centre-run System of Air Quality Forecasting And Research (SAFAR), the PM10 level in Delhi stood at 302.

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'.

The Indian Institute of Tropical Meteorology (IITM) said the contribution from biomass fire is likely to be marginal on Friday and further for the next two days.

"Because of poor dispersion and stagnant meteorological conditions, no significant improvement is likely for the next two days," the IITM said.

The Centre-run System of Air Quality Forecasting And Research (SAFAR) has said no deterioration is expected till November 5. However, the authorities said there could be 'severe' deterioration from November 5 due to unfavourable meteorological conditions. According to the SAFAR, 10% of PM2.5 pollution in Delhi on Saturday was caused due to stubble burning.

Delhi authorities have stepped up efforts to combat pollution which includes measures like a halt in construction activities and traffic regulations.

There is a halt on all construction activities involving excavation. Civil construction has also been suspended in Delhi and other NCR districts, besides closure of all stone crushers and hot mix plants generating dust pollution.

The Delhi Pollution Control Committee (DPCC) has also directed the Transport Department and the Traffic Police to intensify checking of polluting vehicles and control travel congestion in the region during November 1-10.

Around 43 teams have been formed by the North Delhi Municipal Corporation for night patrolling to check incidents of burning of garbage. Around 110 vehicles have been deployed for sprinkling water on roads and 12 mechanical dust sweeping machines have also been deployed.

In its recent report, ‘Air Pollution in Asia and the Pacific: Science-Based Solutions’, the UN Environment Programme had said only 8% of the population in the countries of the region get to breathe air of acceptable quality.

One study of degradation of Delhi’s air over a 10-year period beginning 2000 estimated premature mortality to have risen by as much as 60%.