The National Capital Territory of Delhi (NCT) witnessed yet another wave of high air pollution levels on Wednesday morning with the air quality in the upper end of the “very poor category”.

Delhi’s air quality index (AQI) was 381 at 9 am on Tuesday and compared to the 24-hour average was 367 on Tuesday, 318 on Monday, and 268 on Sunday.

The news coming in from the National Capital Region, especially Ghaziabad and Greater Noida, is not encouraging either as the area has reported pollution levels in the “severe zone”.

Ghaziabad and Greater Noida recorded AQI of 430 and 410, respectively.

An AQI between zero and 50 is considered “good”, 51 and 100 “satisfactory”, 101 and 200 “moderate”, 201 and 300 “poor”, 301 and 400 “very poor”, and 401 and 500 “severe”.

The India Meteorological Department (IMD) has said that the maximum wind speed is expected to be 12 km/ph on Wednesday while the minimum temperature was 8.2 degrees Celsius and the maximum is expected to settle around 27 degrees Celsius.

The minimum temperature this season has remained 2-3 degrees Celsius below normal in the absence of a cloud cover on most days, according to IMD officials.

The central government’s Air Quality Early Warning System for Delhi said the air quality is likely to remain in the upper end of the “very poor” category due to unfavourable meteorological conditions while there is a possibility of the air quality reaching the “severe” category between December 4 and December 7.

The Centre had, on October 28, issued an ordinance, making pollution an offence with a jail term, which can go up to 5 years and a penalty up to Rs 1 crore.

According to the ordinance, a Commission for Air Quality Management will be set up for the National Capital Region (NCR) and adjoining areas in Delhi, Haryana, Punjab, Uttar Pradesh and Rajasthan.

“Any non-compliance of this Ordinance, rules made there under or any other order or direction issued by the Commission shall be an offence punishable with imprisonment for a term which may extend up to five years or with fine which may extend up to one crore rupees or with both”, said the ordinance.