Air quality in Mumbai worsens, drops to poor category
As temperatures dropped in the city and suburbs, air quality deteriorated on Wednesday with some parts recording poor to very poor air quality.
The pollutant measuring indicator - air quality index (AQI) was recorded at 125 (moderate) on Wednesday, which was the worst AQI since March when it was recorded at 130. The AQI was calculated by the System of Air Quality Weather Forecasting and Research (SAFAR) as the average of indices recorded at 10 locations in the city and suburbs.
Bandra Kurla Complex (BKC) recorded the worst air with AQI touching the very poor category with an AQI of 305, while Malad recorded poor quality air with an AQI of 204, on Wednesday.
“As winter is setting in, air quality is deteriorating. Winds are very slow and the pollutants are not dispersed well. It a common phenomenon for air quality to decline as temperatures drop,” said a spokesperson from SAFAR. However, the air quality is better than it was around this time last year, said the spokesperson.
SAFAR categorises AQI levels for PM2.5 in the 0-50 range as good; 51-100 as satisfactory; 101-200 as moderate; 201-300 as poor; 301-400 as very poor and above 400 as severe. An AQI of 111 (moderate) has been predicted for Sunday.
Humidity levels were at 89% in south Mumbai and 81% in the suburbs.
Meanwhile, the suburbs witnessed a cooler day with minimum temperature with the Santacruz station of the Indian Meteorological Department recorded at 23.2 degrees Celsius. The Colaba station recorded a minimum temperature of 25.2 degree Celsius. The maximum temperatures recorded are 35 degrees Celsius and 33.4 degree Celsius at Santacruz and Colaba, respectively.
IMPORTANT AIR QUALITY DATES THIS YEAR
- Prior to Friday, last time the city recorded high pollution levels was a week before lockdown 1 was implemented. On March 17 the AQI was 272 (poor), March 18 it was 172 (moderate), and March 19 was 130 (moderate)
- During the lockdown, the highest recorded AQI was on May 17 at 90 (satisfactory)
- Mumbai recorded its cleanest air since monitoring began on June 30 with an AQI of 12 (good)