The national capital on Friday woke up to witness dense smog as 'severe' air quality was recorded. In the Anand Vihar area, the Air Quality Index (AQI) PM 2.5 was at 405 (very poor category) and PM 10 at 698 (severe category), according to the System of Air Quality and Weather Forecasting and Research (SAFAR). At the Sukhdev Vihar area, PM 2.5 was at 329 and PM 10 at 270. AQI at Punjabi Bagh Delhi was recorded poor, PM 2.5 was at 305 while PM 10 at 200.
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On Thursday, the entire national capital region including Gurugram, Noida, Faridabad and Ghaziabad registered alarming air pollution levels. According to data by SAFAR, the overall air quality in Delhi remained very poor with AQI 346 in the morning. The air quality at Mathura Road was recorded at ‘Severe’ and Noida at ‘Very Poor’.
According to a study, published in the Lancet Planetary Health journal, Delhi recorded 12,322 deaths due to air pollution last year. National capital recorded the highest PM 2.5 exposure level followed by Uttar Pradesh, Bihar and Haryana and Rajasthan. There were 6.7 lakh deaths due to outdoor particulate matter air pollution and 4.8 lakh deaths due to household air pollution in India last year, it said.
Earlier, the South Delhi Municipal Corporation collected Rs 3.5 lakh as penalties from seven construction companies for "violation" of air pollution control norms. “Each company has been slapped with a fine of Rs 50,000,” the SDMC said in a statement.
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Delhi is reeling under the menace of air pollution for the past couple of years. The region faced a major air quality crisis last year when severe pollution level forced the shutdown of schools and colleges. In 2016, the government tried to explore the possibility of cloud seeding for artificial rain but the plan never worked out.