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Kanpur in Uttar Pradesh had the worst air quality across India, with AQI of 420 - considered "severe".

The report also analysed the trends of different factors causing pollution since 2010 and it said transport emission in the national capital has increased significantly at 41 per cent in the last eight years.

A Supreme Court-appointed Environment Pollution Authority warned on Thursday that air pollution in the capital region is likely to peak from November 1 as toxic fumes from the burning of agricultural fields in the neighboring northern states of Haryana and Punjab could blow in because of a change in wind direction.

Delhi's air quality remained very poor for the fourth day on October 27 with five areas of the national capital recording severe pollution levels, as authorities warned the situation may deteriorate further next week due to localised emissions during the festival and stubble burning.

Faridabad, Noida, Greater Noida, Ghaziabad and Gurgaon had also recorded air quality in the "very poor" category Thursday, according to CPCB data.

The CPCB has issued health advisories and recommended stringent measures from November 1 to 10 forecasting further deterioration in air quality ahead of Diwali.

Prashant Saxena, head pulmonologist at the Max Smart Super Speciality Hospital in New Delhi, said the number of patients coming to him with breathing problems, asthma, chest and related ailments has increased 15-20 per cent in the past two weeks.

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Delhi-NCR faces pollution every year due to stubble-burning of crops by farmers in these states.

The task force also advised public to avoid strenuous outdoor exercises to minimise their exposure to the toxic air, and cut down the use of private cars during the first 10 days of November.

"Coal and biomass-based industries should be shut from November 4 to 10, except the waste-to-energy units and thermal power plants across NCR", Prashant Gargava, member secretary CPCB said while addressing the media. The level of PM2.5, tiny particulate matter that can dangerously clog lungs, read 187, more than six times higher than the World Health Organisation considers safe.

A thick haze due to smog engulfed the national capital which recorded the worst air quality of this season, authorities said.

He also added that "Pollution would reduce in the next couple of days if the weather condition remains the same".

The Central Pollution Control Board and SAFAR on Saturday issued separate advisories. "Unless there are strong winds in the category of at least 20kmh, this pollution won't go away", said Mr Mahesh Palawat, vice-president of meteorology and climate change at Skymet Weather Services.