Mumbai’s pollution moves into ‘very poor’ category, first time after Diwali | mumbai news | Hindustan Times
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Mumbai’s pollution moves into ‘very poor’ category, first time after Diwali

Mumbai recorded an air quality index (AQI) of 304, which is expected to increase to 305 on Thursday, found the System of Air Quality Weather Forecasting and Research (SAFAR).

mumbai Updated: Nov 17, 2016 00:34 IST
Badri Chatterjee
Researchers attributed the rise in pollution to a drop in overnight wind speed.
Researchers attributed the rise in pollution to a drop in overnight wind speed. (HT FILE PHOTO )

The city woke up to high pollution levels on Wednesday as the pollutant-measuring indicator went into the red category of ‘very poor’, for the first time since the day after Diwali.

The city recorded an air quality index (AQI) of 304, which is expected to increase to 305 on Thursday, found the System of Air Quality Weather Forecasting and Research (SAFAR).

An AQI between 201 and 300 is considered poor, that between 301 and 400 is ‘very poor’, which means people with heart or lung disease, older adults and children should reduce prolonged or heavy exertion.

Researchers attributed the rise in pollution to a drop in overnight wind speed. “The city saw hardly any winds between Tuesday night and Wednesday morning that has allowed pollutants to settle close to the surface forming a thin layer of smog,” said Neha S Parkhi, senior programme manager, SAFAR. “We expect this to continue until the wind speed picks up.”

According to the weather bureau, winds in the city were as low as 0 to 1 knots per hour, indicating a calm wind pattern.

Seven out of 10 locations in Mumbai recorded ‘very poor’ AQI with Bandra-Kurla Complex being the most polluted at 328, followed by Andheri at 326. Malad, Mazgaon, Navi Mumbai and Bhandup were some other high-pollution spots on Wednesday. The remaining three locations recorded ‘poor’ air quality.

Meanwhile, temperatures in the city were close to the normal mark, but the moisture levels were low. Parkhi added that the drop in moisture too could have worsened the pollution problem in Mumbai.