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Heavy smog envelops Delhi once again, visibility drops to 50 metres

Come winters and Delhi is engulfed in heavy smog. With the ever-increasing pollution and onset of winter season, the layer of smog over Delhi was so dense that visibility was reduced by up to 50 metres.

Heavy smog was reported on Monday evening as well, with visibility dropping to 500 metres. Air quality has remained poor in the city for the past few days.

The Real-time Air Quality Index (AQI) shows the air quality as "hazardous" in most parts of the city. PM 2.5 levels are alarmingly high.

Visuals from Rajpath and India Gate show that visibility levels were very poor. The low visibility levels are a cause of trouble for the residents of the city. Many residents said that they had to skip their morning walks as the visibility was too low.

Highest pollution was witnessed in Delhi's RK Puram and Punjabi Bagh areas with PM 2.5 at 999 µgm-3. Areas adjoining Mandir Marg remains the second most polluted parts of the city with PM 2.5 level shooting up to 715 followed by Anand Vihar where PM 2.5 was recorded 704 ugm-3.

"With rain or strong wind in site, the air quality is likely to worsen in coming days as the temperature gradually decreases," said a weather department official.

Doctors say being exposed for a long time to such alarmingly poor level of air can cause serious problems in lungs.

Air quality at satellite cities of Noida and Greater Noida also remained in "very poor" category with PM 2.5 hovering around 200-300 µgm-3. Air quality at Faridabad was recorded "severe" with PM2.5 level at 449 ugm-3. However, Gurugram's air quality was recorded slightly better yet 'very poor' with PM 2.5 level at 286 ugm-3.

Delhiites will have to resort to wearing pollution masks with the increasing level of smog. Meanwhile, no concrete steps have been taken by the authorities to curb air pollution in the city.

SAFAR (System of Air Quality and Weather Forecasting and Research) forecast also shows that air quality in the city will remain poor in the coming days.