Delhi’s air quality index on Friday was recorded at 499 – categorised as “severe” by the System of Air Quality and Weather Forecasting and Research, or Safar.

The national capital remained engulfed in smog, leading to a drop in visibility. “Visibility was around 600-800 metres till 12 noon,” RK Jenamani, senior scientist at India Meteorological Department, told ANI. “Visibility to remain poor for the next three days in Delhi.”

On Friday, 4,000 farm fires accounted for 35% of Delhi’s air pollution, NDTV reported.

An order by Prashant Gargava, the chairperson of the sub-committee on the Graded Response Action Plan, advised people to limit outdoor activities and minimise exposure, The Indian Express reported. It also urged government and private offices and other establishments to reduce vehicle usage by at least 30%.

The order also directed state governments to be prepared to implement measures under the “emergency” category as per the graded plan. These measures include stopping construction activities, rolling out the odd-even scheme for private vehicles and stopping the entry of trucks into Delhi apart from the ones carrying essential items.

Meanwhile, a report from Centre for Science and Environment released on Thursday showed that emission from vehicles is the biggest contributor to particulate pollution in Delhi among local sources.

Particulate matter refers to inhalable particles in the air. PM2.5, or particulate matter smaller…

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