The Central Pollution Control Board (CPCB) said that the ultra-fine particles PM 2.5 and PM 10 was 164 and 294 micrograms per cubic metre respectively.
On Thursday morning, Anand Vihar recorded the overall Air Quality Index AQI at 999 (hazardous) with PM2.5 level at 999 and PM10 level at 999. AQI above 500 falls in the "severe-plus emergency" category.
Speaking on the condition of anonymity, a senior police officer admitted that it was very hard to implement the Supreme Court order.
Mustafa Mohammed, a student and cycling enthusiast, said he could feel the air quality dip drastically as he set out on Thursday to India Gate in the heart of the city.
After a cocktail of toxic fumes enveloped the area in October and November a year ago, the Delhi city government declared it a public health emergency and its Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal described the Indian capital as a "gas chamber".
Last month, the Supreme Court allowed the use of "green" firecrackers for Diwali, but only for two hours in the evening. It had also allowed the manufacture and sale of only "green crackers", which have a low light and sound emission and less harmful chemicals. Levels from 0-50 is considered "good", 51-100 "satisfactory", 101-200 "moderate", 201-300 "poor", 301-400 "very poor", and 401 and above is "severe".
"We have asked all police stations to follow the Supreme Court's guidelines on bursting firecrackers and to ensure action against those violating it", Mumbai Police spokesperson Manjunath Singe said. The North Delhi Municipal Corporation (NDMC) sprinkled water on trees in the area around Delhi University's North Campus.
Levels of major pollutants PM2.5 and PM10 were at 500 in Lodhi Road area on Wednesday morning, falling under "severe" category.
The Environment Pollution (Prevention and Control) Authority has banned all construction activity and ordered use of sprinklers in the city until November 10, among other measures. According to the SAFAR, the moisture in the air on Wednesday was normal, thus reducing the pollution load slightly. Contrary to SAFAR's expectation of better air on Friday, the pollution levels soared to an AQI of 423. This utter disregard for the directive from the highest court of the land reflects a sorry state of affairs in a country that has already earned the dubious distinction of being among the world's worst polluted regions.
Last month the World Health Organization said exposure to toxic air indoors and out kills some 600,000 children under the age of 15 each year.