Air quality continues to be poor in Mumbai for third consecutive day

Marginal rise forecast in day temperature on Saturday; no major change expected in pollution level

mumbai Updated: Feb 23, 2018 16:15 IST
HT Correspondent
HT Correspondent
Hindustan Times
Mumbai,weather,temperature
Pollution levels across the city have been high for three days now. Here, a fisherman rows a boat in Bandra.(Satish Bate/HT Photo)

Air quality in the city on Friday remained in the ‘poor’ category for the third day in a row.

On Friday afternoon, the air quality index (AQI), a pollution indicator, stood at 234. On Thursday, Mumbai had recorded an AQI of 236; on Wednesday, it was 233.

The AQI level for PM2.5 pollutant — small pollutant particles that can easily enter the lungs and cause respiratory and cardiovascular illnesses — between 0-50 is good, 51-100 is satisfactory, 101-200 is moderate, 201-300 is poor, 301-400 is very poor, and above 400 is severe.

The System of Air Quality Weather Forecasting and Research (SAFAR) has predicted a marginal decline in pollution levels for Saturday, estimating it to touch 230.

“High moisture incursions — due to weather factors along the Arabian sea and cold wave along north-west India — have led to the rise in pollution levels. When moisture increases, the air becomes heavy as the carrying capacity of pollutants increases. Calm winds have further aided the suspension of polluted particles close to the surface and disallowed dispersion,” said Gufran Beig, project director, SAFAR. “If wind speed picks up and weather systems begin to die down, pollution levels are likely to reduce.”

Pollution levels for particulate matter was much above the safe limit on Thursday. As against the safe limit of 60 microgrammes per cubic metre (µg/m3) over 24 hours for PM2.5, Mumbai recorded levels at 105µg/m3. For PM10, which is slightly larger and coarser particles, Mumbai recorded 165µg/m3 against a safe limit of 100µg/m3.

Three of the 10 locations in Mumbai recorded ‘very poor’ AQI levels, with Mazgaon being the most polluted with an AQI of 324, followed by Navi Mumbai at 317, and Borivli at 307. Bhandup and Bandra Kurla Complex (BKC) stood at 297 (poor). Malad and Andheri, too recorded poor air quality, whereas Worli and Colaba recorded moderate pollution levels. Chembur recorded the cleanest air with a satisfactory AQI level of 92.

Meanwhile, temperatures over the city were similar to Thursday when Colaba recorded a day temperature of 30.4 degrees Celsius, 0.5 degrees above normal, 33.5 degrees Celsius was recorded at Santacruz, 2.4 degrees above normal. The night temperature was a little more than degree Celsius above normal, with Santacruz and Colaba recording 20.4 and 22.2 degrees Celsius, respectively.

Moisture levels were also high on Friday morning as compared to the previous days. Colaba and Santacruz recorded 91% and 88% humidity, respectively. A clear sky has been predicted for Saturday with a marginal rise expected in day temperatures.

First Published: Feb 23, 2018 16:02 IST