New Delhi, Dec 29 : The ambient air quality of the National Capital became severe for the sixth time this month on Thursday but the Delhi government claimed improvement in pollution level.

The Delhi government in a statement claimed improvement in ambient air-quality and a "decreasing trend" in the levels of PM10 and PM2.5 (pollutant particles with diameter less than 2.5 and 10 mm respectively) -- "despite varying weather conditions".

Meanwhile, as per the Central Pollution Control Board (CPCB), the air quality index (AQI) of Delhi on Thursday reached 402, after a persistent increase over this week.

The CPCB attributed both PM 2.5 and PM 10 as the major reasons behing the increase in pollution. The last severe AQI and highest this month was 427 on Saturday, December 24.

The severe AQI has a potential to affect even the healthy.

Even the data on the state government's Delhi Pollution Control Committee (DPCC) website showed high level of pollution with PM10 ranging from 393-525 units while PM2.5 from 263-333 units.

The permisible limit for PM10 and PM2.5 is 100 and 60 (microgram per cubic meters) respectively.

Delhi Environment Minister Imran Hussain on Thursday reviewed the status of existing ambient air quality in the city, with officials of the Environment Department and the DPCC.

"The Environment Department informed that analysis of the data of different pollutants shows that levels of PM10 and PM2.5 in Delhi is showing decrease in trend and there is improvement ambient air quality," said a Delhi government statement.


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