Mumbai’s air was the cleanest since June 2015, when air quality monitoring and forecasting began, on Friday. Weather experts said strong winds and higher temperatures helped the dispersal of airborne pollutants.
The System of Air Quality Weather Forecasting and Research (SAFAR) recorded an air quality index (AQI) – pollutant measuring indicator - of 64 on Friday morning. The AQI was 65 in the evening, falling under the ‘good’ category. SAFAR estimated the clean air to continue over the weekend as an AQI of 64 was predicted for Saturday.
Before Friday, Mumbai had its cleanest air on April 18 when AQI levels were recorded at 89; it was 95 on April 17. However, throughout April and the first week of May, pollution levels were seen fluctuating between the ‘good’ and ‘moderate’ categories.
As compared to Mumbai, other cities like Delhi and Pune recorded AQI levels at 116 (moderate) and 73 (good), respectively.
“Air quality is satisfactory and air pollution poses little or no risk. No caution required for people sensitive to air pollution,” read the health statement from SAFAR on Friday. Experts said that owing to high mercury levels in Mumbai, pollution levels during this time of the year are at its lowest. “From most of the data sets that we have got, it has been observed that air quality in Mumbai is good and likely to continue until a sudden drop in temperature is observed. With humidity levels above 60%, high temperatures and fast moving winds, majority of pollutant particles are dispersed from the air,” said Rakesh Kumar, chief scientist, National Environmental Engineering and Research Institute (NEERI).
For the first time this year, nine out of 10 locations in Mumbai recorded ‘good’ air quality. The most polluted location was Bandra Kurla Complex that recorded an AQI of 145 on Friday evening, falling under the ‘moderate’ category. On the other hand, the cleanest air in the city was recorded at Worli with an AQI of 35.
Meanwhile, even as interior parts of the state continue to reel under high temperatures, Mumbai recorded the maximum temperature below normal levels on Friday. While the weather station at Santacruz recorded 32.9 degrees Celsius, 0.4 degree Celsius below normal, 33.5 degrees Celsius, 0.2 degree Celsius above normal was recorded at Colaba. Owing to a clear sky during the night, night temperatures were below normal levels in Mumbai.
Nine out of 10 locations record ‘good’ air quality, first time this year
AQI in Mumbai on Friday morning: 64 (Good)
AQI in Mumbai on Friday evening: 65 (Good)
Expected AQI for Mumbai on Saturday: 64 (Good)
|Location||AQI on Friday evening||Predicted AQI for Saturday|
|BKC||145 (Moderate)||142 (Moderate)|
|Andheri||88 (Good)||87 (Good)|
|Malad||83 (Good)||85 (Good)|
|Bhandup||58 (Good)||55 (Good)|
|Borivali||58 (Good)||57 (Good)|
|Mazgaon||58 (Good)||57 (Good)|
|Navi Mumbai||51 (Good)||51 (Good)|
|Chembur||50 (Good)||48 (Good)|
|Colaba||45 (Good)||47 (Good)|
|Worli||35 (Good)||35 (Good)|
(All AQI levels are in PM2.5 values monitored by the System for Air Quality Weather Forecasting and Research)
Health advisory: No cautionary action required
Health advisory: Unusually sensitive people should consider reducing prolonged or heavy exertion and heavy outdoor work
Health advisory: People with heart or lung disease, older adults and children should reduce prolonged or heavy exertion.
Very poor (301-400)
Health advisory: People with heart or lung diseases, older adults and children should avoid prolonged or heavy exertion, everyone else should reduce prolonged or heavy exertion
Severe (401- above)
Health advisory: Everyone should avoid all physical activity, outdoors, people with heart or lung disease older adults and children should remain indoors and keep activity levels low.