Amritsar airport was forced to shutdown operations on Wednesday morning after a thick blanket of smog engulfed the city, making conditions difficult for flights to take off and land. On Monday, the night after Diwali, Amritsar recorded average particulate matter (PM10) concentration at 321.55 mg per cubic metre, compared to the daily average of 70 mg in the past six months. Meanwhile, average of PM 2.5 concentration was recorded at 95.10 mg per cubic metre in Amritsar against the average of 40 mg per cubic metre. The safe limit for the lung-clogging PM 2.5 is at 60 mg per cubic metre.
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Cities across India were hit with alarmingly high levels of pollution on the day after Diwali, with air quality levels reaching “very unhealthy” and “hazardous” levels in many cities across the country. The situation improved slightly on Tuesday but the air quality remained well within toxic levels.Smog continues to engulf major cities across India with the national capital still reeling under the after effects of Diwali celebrations. Conditions are said to be worse this year than it was in 2014 and 2015.