Pictures of the city this week show that she is covered in a thick yellow smog. Some buildings are barely visible through the haze. The Air Quality Index, which rates air pollution on a scale of 0 to 500, reached 227 on Friday – classed as "very unhealthy".
This rating reflects the concentration of fine particles, known as PM2.5, per cubic meter. According to the World Health Organization, an acceptable air quality index for regular breathing is 25.
Nevertheless, 40,633 people are planning a record high in the Airtel Delhi Half Marathon, which includes other categories such as a 1
The organizers are taking a number of measures to combat health risks. Before the race on Sunday, they will spray the entire route with water mixed with "ecologically benign" chemical reactants. According to the Marathon website, dust and pollutants such as fine dust are to be reduced and removed.
You will also try to use a high-tech method that is largely unproven – transferring WLAN pulses through the air to push pollutant particles in different directions, similar to the pressure of a magnet.
] The organizers told CNN that there would be medical facilities and medical staff along the entire route.
Some runners are still worried. Jonathan Gil Harris, who has been marching in India since 2012, says the air has deteriorated noticeably in the last four years.
"It did not stop people from running, but it's a real challenge and concern to get the levels of pollution they have," he said. "You see more runners running the masks and trying to run out of Delhi."
He added that the Wi-Fi technology, although he was glad that the organizers were trying to turn green, felt like a pavement a big gaping wound. "
" It would be nice to see actual progress, "he said," (The government) keeps telling us they're doing that, but the empirical evidence for a runner suggests otherwise. "
CNN has asked the Ministry of the Environment in the Government of Delhi for a comment.
According to representatives of Airtel no runners have left since Friday more.
The World's Most Polluted City
New Delhi has been the world's most polluted city for years, according to Greenpeace and AirVisual and had an average air quality index of 135 in 2018, 8 at – almost three times the level that the US Environmental Protection Agency considers healthy.
Similar tactics have caused devastating forest fires in Indonesia and the Brazilian Amazon this summer.
He also said at a press conference on Thursday that the Delhi government is working to distribute masks and implement measures to reduce pollution, such as spraying roads with water. In early September, he said the government was trying to get as many as 6 million masks.
Normally the Airtel races take place in November. The organizers laid it on October, which took place before Diwali. This has calmed some runners – Harsh Vardhan Sahni, 33, named Diwali "the big culprit" of pollution.
"What makes a difference to me is that they planned it before Diwali," said Sahni, who competes in the Airtel race for the first time. He added that he is not very worried about pollution and that "air quality is getting worse, but I am not worried."
"This is the air we live in and we breathe in hours on a particular morning will make a difference, "he said.