City residents have reported experiencing more difficulty in breathing during their morning walks, attributing it to increased pollution compared to the summer months.

New Delhi: The Air Quality Index (AQI) in the national capital reached 336 on Wednesday morning, marking the fourth consecutive day and the third day this week with ‘very poor’ air quality. According to SAFAR-India, Delhi’s AQI has been classified as ‘very poor’ since Sunday when it measured 309. The AQI was 322 on Monday and 327 on Tuesday, according to data from the System of Air Quality and Weather Forecasting and Research (SAFAR)-India. Morning walkers in the city said that breathing was more challenging than in the summer months due to pollution.

One morning walker near Mayur Vihar expressed, “I feel uncomfortable breathing while running now compared to in the summer months. I have congestion. We have to be careful and take all precautions.” At 7 am today, the air quality in the Delhi University area and Pusa was ‘very poor,’ with AQI at 391 and 311, respectively. The air quality was also ‘very poor’ in the IIT Delhi region, with an AQI of 329. The Airport (T3) and Mathura Road also had ‘very poor’ air quality, with an AQI of 339 and 362, respectively.

Noida reported an AQI of 391 (very poor), while Gurugram had 323 (very poor). The Air Quality Index (AQI) serves as a simplified tool to communicate the air quality condition to the public. It condenses complex data on various pollutants into a single index value, providing a name and color for quick understanding.

The AQI ranges from 0 to 100 (good), 100 to 200 (moderate), 200 to 300 (poor), 300 to 400 (very poor), and above 400 (severe). Delhi Environment Minister Gopal Rai had previously mentioned that they are progressively implementing a 15-point winter action plan to combat pollution.

“Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal had earlier unveiled a 15-point winter action plan to mitigate pollution stemming from vehicles, biomass burning, dust, etc. We are now rolling out this winter action plan step by step to reduce pollution in the national capital,” Rai told ANI.

Rai emphasized that vehicles are a significant pollution source, prompting the initiation of the ‘Red Light on, Gaadi off’ campaign on October 26. “The data shows that in the AQI, the level of particulate matter (PM) 10 is decreasing, while that of PM2.5 is increasing. This indicates that pollution from vehicles and biomass burning is on the rise. For this reason, we initiated the ‘Red Light on, Gaadi off’ campaign,” said the Delhi minister.

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