Delhi breathes easier as air quality improves to \'poor\'category

The spike in air pollution in the national capital is primarily due to insufficient rainfall and low wind speed.

New Delhi: After reeling under a layer of hazardous levels of pollution for almost a week, the air quality in Noida significantly improved but remained in the 'poor' category.

According to data provided by the Central Pollution Control Board (CPCB), the Air Quality Index (AQI) at Sector 62 Noida docked at 221, which falls in the 'poor' category. The current AQI is down from 573 (severe) that was recorded on Saturday.

Isolated pockets of the region were covered in a thick blanket of smog due to the spike in pollutants in the air. The smog cover also reduced visibility at major junctions of the city in the wee hours.

It is to be noted that all government and private schools in Gautam Budh Nagar district remained closed on November 14 and 15 due to rising pollution levels in the region, as the AQI had entered the 'severe' category, forcing people to limit their outdoor activities.

"Pollution has increased in the last few days. Schools were closed and this has affected my studies. We cannot breathe if we don't put a mask. I used to play for around one hour, but since pollution levels have increased, I cannot go out," Aditi, a youngster, told ANI.

Echoing similar sentiments, Shailendra, another resident in Noida, said, "Pollution levels have decreased because of the winds. However, it is still a dangerous situation. Schools were closed as pollution levels spiked and have affected the studies of children. They cannot go out and play as well. We are doing our activities indoors."

Elsewhere in the National Capital Region (NCR), the air quality came out of the 'severe' category due to strong surface winds, which helped in clearing out the pollutants from the atmosphere.

In Gurugram, the AQI at NISE Gwal Pahari area read at 301, which falls in the 'very poor' category, as per the CPCB data.

In Delhi, major pollutants PM 2.5 and PM 10, read at 218 and 217 at Lodhi Road area respectively, both of which falls in 'poor' category, according to SAFAR.

Residents in the Delhi-NCR have been gasping for fresh air since due to the noxious smog that has enveloped the region owing to incidents of stubble burning in Haryana and Punjab.

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