The city finally observed an improvement in air quality on Sunday after six days of deteriorating pollution levels in Mumbai.
The pollutant measuring indicator – air quality index (AQI) fell from 283 on Saturday to 242 on Sunday, though it was still in the ‘poor’ category. An AQI between 201 and 300 is considered poor, that between 301 and 400 is ‘very poor’, which means people with heart or lung diseases, older adults and children should reduce prolonged or heavy exertion.
The System of Air Quality Weather Forecasting and Research (SAFAR) pegged AQI levels at 240 (poor) for Monday. “We observed a rise in wind speed on Sunday accompanied by a marginal increase in temperatures and moisture levels that helped disperse pollutants. We expect this to continue through the coming week,” said an official from SAFAR.
Officials from the weather bureau said that as opposed to cold winds from the north, easterly winds that are comparatively warmer and had increased temperatures. While the weather station at Santacruz recorded 19.4 degrees Celsius as the minimum temperature, 2.1 degree Celsius below normal, 23 degrees Celsius was recorded at Colaba, which was closer to normal levels.
Day temperatures were also close to the normal mark on Sunday.
From Monday onwards, the city saw a gradual rise in AQI levels at 216 (poor) to 257 (poor) on Thursday till 283 (poor) on Saturday with locations such as Malad, Andheri, Bandra Kurla Complex and Navi Mumbai, being the most polluted on all days.
Navi Mumbai was the most polluted location on Sunday with a ‘very poor’ AQI of 318. Five of 10 locations recorded ‘poor’ AQI levels and only three fell under the ‘moderate’ category. Borivali recorded the cleanest air with an AQI of 172.