Air quality improves to moderate in Jaipur

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As Delhiites celebrated Diwali on Wednesday, air pollution levels during the day were down compared to earlier this week.

The Centre-run System of Air Quality Forecasting and Research (SAFAR) data said, the PM10 level in Delhi stood at 333, while predicting that the AQI of Delhi-NCR would continue to fall under "very poor" category for the next three days.

Assuming that only half of last year's amount of firecrackers are used, the lead pollutant PM2.5 - particles in the air with a diameter of less than 2.5 micrometers - is expected to reach 575 a day after Diwali, the SAFAR report said. However, smoke from fireworks would get trapped, forcing levels of particles in the air to become significantly higher in the morning, taking air quality to the "severe" category.

Twenty-three out of 26 monitoring stations with AQI data across Delhi reported a severe pollution level, meaning most of the city's air would affect even the healthy people.

The air quality is expected to worsen in the coming days due to the use of firecrackers, experts have warned.

Shallow fog and haze during the daytime is also expected on Wednesday and Thursday.

Complying with the Supreme Court directions, the CPCB has also put up guidelines for public to file complaints on air pollution in Delhi NCR on its social media accounts, CPCB website and also through an app developed by it called Sameer app.

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The teams comprise the local Sub Divisional Magistrate (SDM) as the team leader, senior official from Ministry of Environment, Forest and Climate Change (MoEFCC) and representatives from the CPCB, Municipal Corporation of Delhi (MCD) and Delhi Pollution Control Committee (DPCC). The state's Pollution Control Body has been directed to initiate criminal prosecution against violators while the Delhi government said, "It is fully prepared to implement odd-even scheme when needed".

Air quality will be "bad" on Thursday, 8 November - a day after Diwali - even if "partial toxic crackers" are used as compared to past year, SAFAR said.

Punjab Pollution Control Board (PPCB) Chief Engineer Karunesh Garg said that it is good thing that Amritsar's AQI is recorded good on the Diwali eve.

To address the air pollution situation, the Central Pollution Control Board (CPCB) said it was mulling inducing artificial rain over the city after Diwali to wash away hazardous pollutants plaguing the national capital.

Numerous patients he sees already bear physical scars from breathing a lifetime of Delhi air.

With pollution levels hitting a new high, residents of Indian capital Delhi and adjoining areas have been complaining of breathlessness and burning sensation in the eyes.