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Haze returns to Mumbai, pollution in ‘poor’ category

The pollutant-measuring indicator - air quality index (AQI) read 219 (poor) on Saturday.

mumbai Updated: Dec 17, 2017 00:37 IST
Badri  Chatterjee
Badri Chatterjee
Hindustan Times
Mumbai weather,Mumbai pollution,Mumbai news
Haze hangs over Elphinstone in Mumbai on Saturday.(Samson Tupdal)

After two days of moderate air quality, hazy conditions covered the city’s skyline on Saturday.

The pollutant-measuring indicator - air quality index (AQI) read 219 (poor) on Saturday and is expected to be 215 (poor) on Sunday, according to the System of Air Quality Weather Forecasting and Research (SAFAR).

The city had recorded ‘satisfactory’ AQI levels on Wednesday at 98, and thereafter pollution levels began increasing with an AQI of 124 (moderate) on Thursday and 171 (moderate) on Friday.

AQI levels for PM2.5 pollutant (small pollutant particles that can easily enter the lungs and cause ailments) in the range of 0 to 50 is good, 51 to 100 is satisfactory, 101 to 200 is moderate, 201 to 300 is poor, 301 to 400 is very poor, and above 400 is severe.

Researchers said weather conditions were responsible for the poor air quality. “While temperatures are not very low in Mumbai, the high moisture levels are allowing pollutant particles to tread close to the surface. Owing to negligent wind speed and the process of inversion, the particles are not dispersing fast enough, leading to haze formation,” said Gufran Beig, project director, SAFAR. “Until wind speed picks up, the haze is likely to stay.”

Of the 10 locations in Mumbai, Bandra Kurla Complex (BKC) had the most polluted air with an AQI of 313 (very poor), followed by Navi Mumbai at 303 (very poor). The cleanest air in the city was recorded at Worli with an AQI of 124 (moderate).

Meanwhile, the day temperature, both in Santacruz and Colaba were above the 30 degree celsius-mark on Saturday -- closer to normal levels first time since cyclone Ockhi stormed by the city in the first week of December. Minimum temperatures also increased but were a degree celsius below normal. Moisture levels were high as 95% humidity was recorded during the day that dropped to 84% by Saturday evening.

First Published: Dec 17, 2017 00:37 IST