The overall air quality in Delhi continues to remain in the `Poor` category with the Air Quality Index (AQI) recorded at 249 on Friday morning, as per the System of Air Quality and Weather Forecasting and Research (SAFAR)-India. As per the latest data from SAFAR, the air quality around Delhi University was recorded at 307 (Very Poor) in the morning hours today while the IIT area in New Delhi was at 273, and that in Lodhi Road was recorded at 218 either of which falls in the `Poor` category.

Further, according to the data, Noida recorded an AQI of 208 (Poor) and Gurugram 252 (Poor). India Meteorological Department in a statement on Delhi`s AQI forecasted predominant surface wind likely from Northwest/Northeast directions in Delhi with wind speed 04-16 kmph, resulting in mainly clear sky and mist in the morning on October 27, Friday. To mitigate pollution, water was sprinkled through an anti-smog gun in the Anand Vihar area on Thursday.

As stubble burning continues in parts of Punjab and Haryana, air quality in the national capital has worsened in the past few days. According to data, over 2,500 cases of stubble burning have been reported this year so far. However, farm fire numbers are better than those of the previous two years. The second phase of the Graded Response Action Plan (GRAP) was implemented in Delhi to reduce the effect of increased pollution.

Graded Response Action Plan (GRAP) is a set of guidelines and measures implemented to combat air pollution in the National Capital Region (NCR) of India, which includes Delhi and its surrounding areas. As per a government release issued by the Ministry of Environment, under GRAP-2 restrictions in Delhi NCR, there will be a ban on the use of coal and wood-fired stoves, the frequency of CNG and electric buses will be increased, regular cleaning of roads and a sprinkling of water on them to be done, traffic police personnel to ensure there are no traffic jams so that pollution can be controlled.

The Air Quality Index is a tool for effective communication of air quality status to people in terms that are easy to understand. There are six AQI categories, namely Good + Satisfactory, Moderately Polluted, Poor, Very Poor, and Severe. When the Air Quality Index ranges from 201 to 300, it will be termed `poor` and classified under Stage 1 restrictions. AQI levels between 301-400 is called `very poor` and falls under Stage 2. When AQI is 401-450 it is termed `severe` and falls under Stage 3.

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