The Central Pollution Control Board has asked the India Meteorological Department to develop an early warning system to predict deterioration of air quality in the National Capital Region, the Hindustan Times reported on Monday.

“If we get some prior intimation of what’s coming in from across the borders, we can take necessary precautions,” CPCB’s Member Secretary A Sudhakar was quoted as saying. A dust storm in West Asia is believed to have contributed the most to the smog that enveloped the National Capital Region earlier this month, a Centre-run agency had said in a report last week.

The CPCB does not have a system to monitor such dust storms or tropical cyclones and their impact on Delhi, D Saha, who heads the pollution control body’s air quality laboratory, told the Hindustan Times.

Dust storms in West Asia take three to four days to hit Delhi, and a warning system could be of help in controlling their impact, officials said.

Delhi and several parts of North India have been covered in a toxic smog since November 7, leaving the governments of the National Capital Region scrambling to bring in measures in the eleventh hour to bring down pollution levels. Though pollution has reduced in the past week, air quality levels are still “very poor”.