(Bloomberg) -- Dry conditions coupled with high temperatures are worsening air quality in New Delhi and adjoining areas, triggering a series of mitigation measures by authorities. 

The dry, hot weather has resulted in suspended dust over the national capital region, causing its air quality to fall to the ‘poor’ category for the past three days, according to the federal environment ministry. India defines an Air Quality Index of 201-300 as ‘poor,’ while readings of up to 50 are categorized as ‘good.’ Forest fires and the burning of crop residue in nearby states may be contributing to the problem, a statement from the ministry said. 

The country’s northwest, including the states of Delhi, Punjab, Haryana as well as parts of Uttar Pradesh and Rajasthan, are expected to see a fresh spell of heat waves starting May 16, the India Meteorological Department has warned. Temperatures have already soared to over 40C (104F) in the capital ahead of national elections in the city on May 25. 

Authorities have directed local governments to deploy water sprinklers on city roads, curb burning of municipal waste and enforce dust-control measures at road construction sites, according to the ministry’s statement.  

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