Several people were injured after more than 20 vehicles piled-up on the Yamuna Expressway in Mathura because of dense fog on Thursday morning. The 165-km long highway connects Noida with Agra. Smog-induced low visibility hit vehicular traffic in the National Capital Region, where pollution levels were in the "hazardous" category for the fourth consecutive day. Thursday morning’s visibility was the lowest for the month of November in many years, reported The Times of India.

The National Green Tribunal has directed Delhi's chief secretary to conduct a meeting with officials concerned and submit a status report about the pollution levels on October 4, ANI reported. Classes at Shri Ram schools in Delhi and Gurugram, barring those for students in Classes 10 and 12, have been cancelled on account of the excessive pollution, the news agency reported.

According to System of Air Quality and Weather Forecasting and Research, concentration of PM 10 (particulate matters that are 10 or less than 10 micrometres in diameter) will remain at a severe level till Friday when it is likely to go down below 400 micrograms, which is still higher than the safe limit of 100 micrograms. However, weather officials warned people for tougher times ahead. "If it doesn't rain or wind speed doesn't increase, the situation is likely to get worse. Better sunshine can also make a difference. It is expected that sunshine will be a little better on Sunday onwards," an official of the Indian Meteorological department told The Times of India.

The quality of Delhi’s air has dropped significantly since the city celebrated Diwali on October 30. Dipping mercury levels and lack of winds caused a harmful mix of respirable pollutants and toxic gases to remain close to the surface, thus worsening the air quality. Many NCR residents have complained of coughing, itching in the eyes and headaches, reported The Indian Express.

Government proposals to tackle pollution

The government had said it would soon initiate measures to curb the rising pollution, though no deadline has been fixed for these measures to be implemented. Among the steps proposed are using sprinklers on roads, putting up mist fountains at five major traffic junctions, installing chimneys in crematoriums and waste management measures to minimise methane emissions.

However, a Delhi government meeting on Thursday to discuss pollution was cancelled because Aam Aadmi Party leaders were detained after a One Rank, One Pension protest on Wednesday.