Delhi smog masks
A traffic policeman wears a mask to protect himself from air pollution as he stands on a road-divider in New Delhi, India [Representational Image].Reuters

The rise in air pollution levels in and around New Delhi and the NCR has led to an increase in demand for air purifiers. Online retailers, chemists and retail shops selling air purifiers have either run out of masks or are loaded with orders for masks and air purifiers even as the quality of air is plunging to dangerous levels, especially after the festive season of Diwali.

On the other hand, manufacturers are expecting a hike in sales in the coming days. Air purifier market in India for the financial year 2015-16 is pegged at 40,000 units, which is expected to grow to 100,000 units by the end of the present fiscal, the Hindu reported.

"Sales have started picking up from the last week with persistent smog over Delhi since Diwali. Sale of air purifiers will surely be seeing a remarkable spike in the next two months. Additionally, the increasing attending on rising pollution in urban centres has indirectly led to an increase in sales in India on a year-on-year basis," Syed Moonis Ali Alvi, General Manager (Water purifier and air purifier) at Panasonic India, told the newspaper.

Panasonic India is expecting a 400 percent jump in sales of air purifiers, with 60 percent demand arising from businesses and institutions, while the remaining 40 percent arising from households.

E-commerce websites, such as Snapdeal and Amazon, have also seen a sharp rise in demand for air purifiers and masks when compared to the last year.

Speaking to the Economic Times, an Amazon spokesperson said demand for pollution masks have jumped about six times in the last few days, which is 13 times more than the last year. The highest number of order for pollution masks were reportedly placed by customers from North India (mostly Delhi).