CHANDIGARH: With farmers continuing to defy the ban on stubble burning, a blanket of haze engulfed Punjab and Haryana as several districts in the two states reported air quality index in "severe" and "very poor" categories.
Because of the haze, visibility reduced substantially in most parts of the two agrarian states.
Hisar in Haryana reported the worst air quality in the states as its AQI stood at 487, according to data provided by the Central Pollution Control Board.
Haryana's other districts Jind (AQI 456), Faridabad (AQI 486) and Kaithal (AQI 408) recorded air quality at "severe" level.
The air quality in other districts such as Ambala (AQI 374), Gurugram (AQI 364), Bhiwani (AQI 372), Karnal (AQI 362), Kurukshetra (AQI 376), Palwal (AQI 369), Panipat (AQI 390), Rohtak (AQI 365) and Yamunanagar (AQI 346) was "very poor", according to the data.
In neighbouring Punjab, the air quality also dropped in several parts of the state.
Air quality in most of the districts in the state fell in "poor" and "very poor" categories.
Bathinda recorded air quality index at 318, followed by Ludhiana at 302, Jalandhar 278, Amritsar at 274, Patiala at 263.
AQI in UT Chandigarh was recorded at 280 which is considered as "poor".
An AQI between 0-50 is considered "good", 51-100 "satisfactory", 101-200 "moderate", 201-300 "poor", 301-400 "very poor", and 401-500 "severe".
Above 500 is "severe-plus or emergency" category.
Haze is prevailing in Chandigarh, Punjab and Haryana, Chandigarh Meteorological Department Director Surinder Pal said on Saturday.
Pal said rains were expected in the coming days which would give relief to people from smog.
Moderate rains are expected on November 6 and 7 in the northern region because of western disturbances, he further said.
Despite crop residue burning accentuated the pollution problem, farmers continued to defy the ban on stubble burning in Punjab and Haryana.
Over 22,000 cases of stubble burning had been witnessed in Punjab and more than 4,200 incidents in Haryana in the recent days, officials said.