16 months on, MPCB puts out air quality data on its website
Sixteen months after its air quality stations were inaugurated, the Maharashtra Pollution Control Board (MPCB) on Thursday published real-time air quality information for 15 locations in the Mumbai Metropolitan Region (MMR) on its website. The MPCB also shared air quality index (AQI) for Mumbai and nine other cities during Diwali and the following days.
Mumbai recorded ‘satisfactory’ AQI of 92 on October 27 (Diwali), which was much lower than last year’s 127 (moderate). A day after Diwali, an AQI of 104 (moderate) was recorded on October 28, and 112 (moderate) on October 29 (Tuesday).
Solapur was the most polluted location in Maharashtra on Diwali (October 28) with an AQI of 115 (moderate). On Monday (a day after Diwali) and Tuesday, Kalyan was the most polluted in the state with AQI of 174 (moderate) and 148 (moderate). While all 10 locations recorded either ‘good’ or ‘satisfactory’ AQI on Diwali, air quality ranged in the ‘moderate’ or ‘satisfactory’ levels in subsequent days.
MPCB categorises AQI levels from 0-50 as good, 51-100 satisfactory, 101-200 as moderate, 201-300 is poor, 301-400 as very poor, and above 401 severe.
“The MMR witnessed much cleaner air this Diwali compared to previous years. Levels went into the moderate category after the increased use of firecrackers on Monday and Tuesday,” said VM Motghare, joint director (air quality), MPCB.
“This is the first Diwali where we have real-time and manual air quality monitoring data from across Maharashtra. From next year onwards, we will be able to understand the trend and areas where air pollution mitigation measures need to be implemented.”
Post-Diwali air pollution readings for Mumbai from MPCB were much higher than that of System of Air Quality Weather Forecasting and Research’s (SAFAR), which comes under the Indian Institute of Tropical Meteorology (IITM), Pune. The AQI for all days fell either under the ‘good’ or ‘satisfactory’ levels, with the highest daily AQI recorded at 96 (satisfactory) on October 29.
The air quality stations were inaugurated in June 2018. While data for 13 stations was made public in November 2018, a month later due to ‘technical difficulties’, it was taken down.
This is the official real-time data from the state government, which will be used in quarterly reports under the city’s recently approved action plan.
“As our website was being revamped and new software was being developed, all real-time air quality information was being recorded, but not being published online. Citizens will have official and reliable air quality information and not depend on other sources. Monthly and
annual averages will be submitted to the state and central agencies for final tabulation,” said Motghare.
Air quality information is available for Vile Parle, Kandivli, Santacruz, Sion, Kurla, Borivli, Worli, Mulund, Powai, Colaba, Nerul, Kalyan, Vasai-Virar, Dombivli and Mahape – with real-time updates for pollutants such as PM10, PM2.5, nitrogen dioxide (NO2), sulphur dioxide (SO2), carbon monoxide (CO), ozone (O3), and ammonia (NH3).