Air quality in Delhi-NCR likely to improve in coming days:Minister

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Prime Minister Narendra Modi's federal government also urged Delhi and the surrounding northern states to immediately tackle risky levels of pollution in the capital, even if that meant deploying helicopters to spray jets of water.

The thick blanket of gray air and pollutants has enveloped Delhi for the past four days.

Some 50,000 typically diesel-guzzling lorries drive through New Delhi every day; it is hoped that by banning them air pollution levels may be curbed. A United States embassy measure of tiny PM 2.5 particles, showed a reading of 523 at nine am on Friday.

PM 2.5 is about 30 times finer than a human hair.

According to doctors, consistently breathing in the microscopic particles can be seriously detrimental for our health, increasing the risk of heart attacks and strokes.

The Delhi high court issued an order on Thursday suggesting the city's government consider "cloud seeding" to induce rainfall artificially, a practice also used in Beijing.

D Saha, head of air quality laboratory at the CPCB said in a statement, "The air quality has started improving, and weather conditions will get much better by Saturday".

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"The only solution left is that we start spraying water right at the street level, especially along heavy traffic roads", Jain said.

Delhi chief minister Arvind Kejriwal has called the capital a "gas chamber".

"I have installed six air purifiers in my home, closed all the windows, but my eyes are still watering", said Ranveer Singhal, a commodity trader living in leafy neighborhood of the city.

At least 2.5-million people in India died early because of pollution in 2015, more than any other country in the world, according to a study by the Lancet Commission on Pollution and Health.

Last November, the city's worst pollution in almost 20 years forced about a million children to miss school, while thousands of workers reported sick and people queued to buy face masks.

At a time when National Capital is hitting the headlines over alarming levels of pollution, a report by the Central Pollution Control Board (CPCB) has found that the air quality of holy city Varanasi is most polluted among the 42 cities monitored recently.

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