With more than half of the national capital suffering a "severe or severe-plus" air quality, Delhi and the regions around it saw a sudden spike in effluents on Sunday, with Faridabad's air 25 times more polluted than safety standards.
Sunday's maximum temperature settled at 32.1 degrees Celsius, while the minimum temperature was recorded at 15.6 degrees Celsius, both the season's average.
The PM2.5 level in the city was recorded at 236 micrograms per cubic metre (ug/m3), the highest of the season so far.
The Central Pollution Control Board's task force also recommended closure of all construction activities that generate dust pollution between November 1 and 10. These are Anand Vihar, Dwarka Sector 8, Narela, Punjabi Bagh and Rohini.
A CPCB-led task force has recommended to Supreme Court appointed Environment Pollution Control Authority implementation of stringent measures from November 1 to 10, predicting further deterioration in the air quality ahead of Diwali.
Some of the recommendations include shutting down coal and biomass factories, increased inspection by Transport Department to check polluting vehicles and reducing traffic congestion in the NCR.
According to the Centre-run System of Air Quality Forecasting and Research, the pollution is likely to increase to the upper levels of very poor but will not touch "severe" level for the next two days.
The task force also issued an advisory to the public, asking them to avoid outdoor strenuous activities and minimise use of private vehicles. A level up to 100 is considered "good" or "satisfactory", an index value between 101 and 200 is "moderate", between 201 and 300 is "poor", 301 to 400 is categorised "very poor", and a higher value is "severe".
D Saha, former air quality chief at CPCB, said meteorological factors like wind speed, solar direction and temperature are mostly responsible for increasing pollution levels in the city.
"We are reviewing the air-quality status on a daily basis and weather conditions in November are not going to be similar to what we have present", CPCB head said, adding the department would appreciate if people use "Sameer", a mobile app to report environment violations such as garbage dumping and open burning. It also recommended people to go for shorter walks instead of jogs, keeping windows closed and wearing masks while stepping outside.