Lucknow, November 7: Amid rising pollution levels in Uttar Pradesh, the 'Shivling' at the Tarkeshwar Mahadev Temple in Varanasi was seen covered with a mask. According to a tweet by ANI, devotees said the air is polluted in the city and to save 'Bhole Baba' from the poisonous air, they put a mask on it. "We have put on the mask. We believe if he is safe, we will remain safe", the devotees said. As the Air Quality Index in Delhi continues to remain in 'poor' category, several neighbouring states have been bearing a brunt of the rising level of pollution. A thick layer of poisonous smog engulfed the national capital and states including Uttar Pradesh, Punjab and Haryana making it difficult for people to breathe outdoors.

Earlier this week, Uttar Pradesh's Baghpat was reported to be India's most polluted area. This town is about 55 kilometres from Delhi. According to data from the Central Pollution Control Board, the AQI or Air Quality Index at Baghpat was at a critically polluted 500 - the maximum possible reading from government monitors. Delhi Air Pollution: AQI in 'Poor' Category in Lodhi Road Area With Rise in Dust Emission & Waste Burning.

Here's the tweet:

Meanwhile, the air quality in Lucknow continued to be dangerous prompting Uttar Pradesh Pollution Control Board to issue strict directions for the next fortnight to curb air pollution. As per weather experts, the situation will continue to remain unchanged for the next couple of days. Several Municipal Corporations, including Lucknow are  spraying water to reduce the pollution level. The state government has already stopped construction work.

(The above story first appeared on LatestLY on Nov 07, 2019 02:04 PM IST. For more news and updates on politics, world, sports, entertainment and lifestyle, log on to our website