Air quality in Mumbai enters ‘poor’ category on Thursday, ‘very poor’ at BKC
After 11 days of ‘satisfactory’ to ‘moderate’ air quality in Mumbai, the city woke up to bad air quality on Thursday as the pollutant-measuring indicator entered the ‘poor’ category.
According to the System of Air Quality Weather Forecasting and Research (SAFAR), the air quality index (AQI) in Mumbai was 202 (poor) with Bandra Kurla Complex being the most polluted location with an AQI of 305 (very poor). Mazgaon (270), Andheri (227), Malad (223), and Navi Mumbai (209), all recorded ‘poor’ air quality on Thursday. Remaining locations witnessed ‘moderate’ air pollution levels.
The AQI gradually witnessed a rise over the past four days as minimum temperatures have begun falling in the city, said researchers.
“After witnessing its cleanest November air pollution owing to a host of weather systems in the Arabian Sea, even December has been a low pollution month for Mumbai as AQI has remained in moderate category. However, as temperatures are declining under winter conditions, the carrying capacity of air pollutants is increasing and allowing the formation of a boundary layer of pollutants closer to the surface,” said Gufran Beig, project director, SAFAR. “Thanks to meteorological factors, air pollution in Mumbai in 2019 has been much lesser than previous years.”
SAFAR predicted that air quality was likely to bounce back into the ‘moderate’ category on Friday with a predicted AQI of 192.
The concentration of PM2.5 - particulate matter of 2.5-micron size which can easily enter lungs and cause ailments - was 89 microgrammes per cubic metre (µg/m3) on Thursday against the safe limit of 60 µg/m3, and concentration for PM10 (larger coarser particles) was 175 µg/m3 against the safe limit of 100 µg/m3.
Meanwhile, the minimum temperature in Mumbai on Thursday was 21.4 degrees Celsius, almost 3 degrees Celsius below normal. However, location wise minimum temperatures were much lower with the minimum temperature dropping to 18 degrees Celsius in Chembur and Powai while maximum temperature dropped below 30 degrees Celsius at Mazgaon, Dadar, and Powai, according to the India Meterological Department. Ghatkopar was the warmest area in the city over the past 24 hours with the maximum temperature at 34 degrees Celsius and 24 degrees Celsius as the minimum temperature.