Mumbai’s air, water are a big threat to your health | mumbai | Hindustan Times
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Mumbai’s air, water are a big threat to your health

The air you breathe and the water you drink in this city are both so polluted they are a serious health hazard. Air pollution levels are nearly five times higher than acceptable levels across the city and a quarter of the water samples collected are unfit for consumption, says the latest status report from the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC).

mumbai Updated: Aug 29, 2011 01:37 IST
Bhavika Jain

The air you breathe and the water you drink in this city are both so polluted they are a serious health hazard. Air pollution levels are nearly five times higher than acceptable levels across the city and a quarter of the water samples collected are unfit for consumption, says the latest status report from the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC).

The BMC’s annual Environ-ment Status Report (ESR) 2010-11, which HT has accessed, blamed the deterioration of air quality on the rise of the emission load to 597.12 tonnes a day (tpd) from 588.57 tpd last year. And, auto exhaust emissions account for 65% of this load, which is calculated on the basis of fuel consumption and monitoring of air quality at six locations in the city.

The levels of suspended particulate matter (SPM), the primary cause of respiratory illnesses, was in the range of 125 to 642 micrograms per cubic metre of air, against the Central Pollution Control Board’s standard of 140.

The ESR says water pollution levels fell marginally, but the situation remains grave as 24.64% of the samples collected from across the city were found to be dangerous to your health.

After Hindustan Times last year (August 6, 2010) reported that the water contamination level in the city was 26.1%, the BMC and the state government had promised several measures to ensure supply of clean drinking water. But little has changed.

While the contamination is highest – 36% – in Byculla and Mazagaon, the posh South Mumbai areas of Cuffe Parade, Nariman Point and Churchgate are next. The range of water contamination in all 24 wards of the city continues to be between 16.8% and 36.7 %.

According to the report, the root cause of water contamination could be seepage of sewage into the old and dilapidated pipelines and tampered or faulty connections.

To make matters worse, even noise pollution is rising. The report states noise levels have not only exceeded CPCB standards, but are also higher than last year.