A day after Diwali, the air quality in Delhi remained in the “severe” category on Sunday, as bursting of firecrackers worsened the situation, data from the Central Pollution Control Board showed.

According to the agency’s air quality index or AQI, any reading above 100 on a scale of 500 is progressively unsafe for health. At 6 am, the AQI in Delhi was at 468, indicating “severe” conditions that pose a risk of respiratory problems.

While the pollution control board uses 24-hour average data, the Ministry of Earth Sciences’ SAFAR, or System of Air Quality and Weather Forecasting And Research reports real-time figures. The government-run monitoring agency said the overall AQI struck 421 in Delhi at 7 am.

The situation was no better in the National Capital Region. On Sunday morning, both Noida and Gurugram registered an air quality in the “severe” category with an AQI of 465 and 376, respectively.

A dense layer of smog shrouded the city.

Although the Delhi government had imposed a complete ban on firecrackers, violations were reported across the city and the National Capital Region as crackers could be heard going off till early morning.

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