Mumbai logs second cleanest air day on record for 2022
Mumbai on Tuesday morning recorded an air quality index (AQI) value of 14, logging the city’s second cleanest air day on record since monitoring began in 2015, as per data from the System of Air Quality and Weather Forecasting and Research’s (SAFAR) network of ambient air quality monitors in the city.
Earlier, on September 4, 2019, the AQI had touched a record low of 12.
Air quality on Tuesday morning also marked the city’s cleanest air of the year, improving on the previous day’s AQI of 28, thanks to recent widespread showers and strong winds prevailing since the onset of the southwest monsoon over the city on June 13.
“Both Monday and Tuesday this week are among the cleanest ever air days for Mumbai since we began recording pollution levels in 2015. It can be attributed to favourable weather conditions. Recent rains have washed airborne pollutants out of the atmosphere and strong winds are keeping them from accumulating again,” Gufran Beig, project director, SAFAR said.
On the same day that Mumbai saw one of its lowest air pollution levels, however, an updated index known as the Air Quality Life Index (AQLI), which is published annually by the University of Chicago’s Energy Policy Institute (EPIC), found that exposure to PM2.5 — respirable particulate matter less than 2.5 micrometres in diameter — is potentially reducing the lifespan of Mumbai citizens by an average of 2.8 years, as against the national average of 5 years.
The updated AQLI, published on Tuesday, uses air pollution data till 2020, and translates it into impact on life expectancy using an epidemiological approach similar to that deployed near the Huai River in China, where communities are provided free or subsidised coal for indoor heating. By tracking these communities in a previous study, EPIC’s researchers were able to measure the effect of sustained exposure to high levels of pollution on a person’s life expectancy. They deduced that life expectancy is reduced by 0.98 years for every 10μg/m3 of sustained exposure to particulate matter.
The index also shows that the average annual concentration of PM2.5 in Mumbai decreased over the course of the first pandemic year, falling from 47.9ug/m3 in 2019 to 33.4ug/3 in 2020, which experts said it not surprising given the slowdown in emissions-heavy activities during prolonged periods of lockdown in 2020.
Dr Lancelot Pinto, pulmonologist and epidemiologist from Hinduja Hospital, emphasised that the link between ambient air pollution and life expectancy has been reported in multiple studies and WHO guidelines.
“Air pollution has a strong link with respiratory disease through diseases such as chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), which is the third leading cause of death in India, as well as asthma and other underlying respiratory illnesses. There is also a link with cardiovascular diseases through its effects on heart rate, blood pressure,” said Pinto. “It [AQLI] is important for policymakers because the focus on health is often on helping to build healthcare infrastructure, which addresses disease once it has occurred (tertiary prevention). Primary prevention might yield much higher returns, by promoting health, and preventing, rather than curing disease.”
A team of central goods and services tax (CGST) was assaulted by a family and their accomplices during a raid on Friday afternoon at Basant Avenue here. Following the complaint filed by CGST Inspector, Sadar police lodged an FIR against house owner Yashpal Mehta, his daughters-in-law Alka Mehta and Shakumbra Mehta, his daughter and their accomplices, who are yet to be identified. They carried a search warrant also. Yashpal Mehta manhandled Assistant Commissioner Hemant Kumar.
Work on cleaning more than 7.5 lakh metric tonnes of legacy waste rotting at the Dadumajra landfill since 2005 is finally set to start within a month. In its second attempt at allotting the work, the municipal corporation on Friday finalised the firm. Of the three shortlisted companies, Aakanksha Enterprises had submitted the lowest bid of ₹79.68 crore and after negotiations, it has been brought on par with the project's estimated cost of ₹68 crore.
A 17-year-old boy was hacked to death by seven members of a family over an old rivalry in Ambala's Dadiyana village on Thursday night. Three of the accused, Gautam, Balram and his brother Gulshan, were arrested on Friday, said Ambala Sadar SHO inspector Manish. The absconding accused include three brothers – Sonu, Rameshwar, who is Gautam's father, and Ramnath, who is Balram and Gulshan's father, apart from Ramnath's another son Vikas, the prime accused.
In an endeavour to help jail inmates and former convicts to join the mainstream by empowering them, Sangrur jail authorities will be soon setting up a petrol pump, right outside the jail premises, which will be entirely run by the inmates. The jail authorities had sought a no-objection certificate from Sangrur administration before bypolls of Sangrur Lok Sabha and now it has got the official nod.
A day after a 68-year-old man from Sector 8 succumbed to Covid-19 in Chandigarh, two more senior citizens lost the battle to the virus in the city on Friday. The deceased included a 99-year-old woman from Sector 11 and an 87-year-old woman from Sector 28. Apart from the two deaths, Chandigarh also recorded a spike in its daily Covid cases. As many as 103 new infections were detected on Friday, compared to 84 on Thursday.