Heavy smog came back to choke Delhiites as the city woke up to "severe" air quality on Tuesday as pollution levels breached the permissible standards by multiple times.
The last time air had turned "severe" was on October 20, a day after Diwali festivities, when firecrackers were set off.
According to reports, more than 20 flights have been delayed due to runway closure and smog at Delhi's Indira Gandhi International Airport. "For the upcoming edition we have discussed the air quality issue with the organisers, Procam and they have assured us that they are taking several measures to minimise the impact of air pollution on the runners", Bharti Airtel said in a statement.
"IMA declares Delhi in public health emergency state, schools should be shut and people must avoid stepping out", IMA president Dr KK Aggarwal says, reports ANI.
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India's Central Pollution Control Board said high levels of moisture in the air and a lack of wind meant emissions had become trapped in the environment.
Delhi's air quality typically worsens ahead of the onset of winter as cooler air traps pollutants near the ground, preventing them from dispersing into the atmosphere, a phenomenon known as inversion.
The IMA has urged people not to venture out. Neighbouring Noida and Ghaziabad, however, recorded 'severe'air quality.
The real-time pollution monitors displayed alarmingly high concentration of PM2.5 and PM10, which are ultrafine particulates having the ability to enter the respiratory system and subsequently the bloodstream of humans and animals, causing harm, reported Outlook. "The maximum and minimum temperatures are likely to settle around 31 and 16 degrees Celsius, respectively", the official had said. The acceptable PM 2.5 level is considered to be 60 µg/m3 by Indian standards and 25 µg/m3 by global standards, but was witnessed to be 792 µg/m3 in Central Delhi, 856 µg/m3 in Anand Vihar area, 894 µg/m3 at Punjabi Bagh and around 666 µg/m3 in Tughlakabad.
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