MMR’s air quality turns poor after Diwali
The Mumbai Metropolitan Region (MMR) witnessed a sharp spike in pollution levels on Wednesday, according to data from the Central and state pollution control bodies. MMR’s AQI on Wednesday was much worse than in the entire Diwali period (November 14-16) when overall AQI remained in the moderate category.
The air quality index (AQI) on Wednesday entered the poor category at 206, calculated from an average of 16 locations in MMR, with the prominent pollutant being PM2.5 — tiny pollutant particles that can easily enter the lungs and cause health ailments, according to the Central Pollution Control Board (CPCB).
It was 137 (moderate) on Tuesday with PM2.5 as the prominent pollutant.
Even the AQI, according to the System of Air Quality Weather Forecasting and Research (SAFAR) under the Ministry of Earth Sciences (MoES), was in the moderate category at 180 during the day, but increased to poor (201) by Tuesday evening from an average of 10 locations.
CPCB and SAFAR both categorise AQI levels from 0-50 as good, 51-100 satisfactory, 101-200 as moderate, 201-300 is poor, 301-400 is very poor, and above 401 is severe.
Researchers said Mumbai’s air quality was likely to remain poor for the next two days at least. “The wind pattern over Mumbai region is presently northerly to north-easterly with winds coming from the land bringing more dust over the city. At the same time we expect temperatures to drop due to northerly winds and pollutant particles getting accumulated and suspended close to the surface. Thus, air quality is likely to remain in the upper end of the moderate and lower end of the poor category,” said Gufran Beig, project director, SAFAR.
Location-wise AQI, according to pollution control board data, showed Vasai was the most polluted location in MMR with an AQI of 303 (very poor), followed by Worli 301 (very poor), Kurla 272 (poor), and Kalyan 267 (poor). Colaba had the cleanest air at 118 (moderate).
According to SAFAR, BKC, Andheri and Chembur recorded the worst AQI in the poor category.
The concentration of PM2.5 was 91 microgrammes per cubic metre (µg/m3) against the safe limit of 60 µg/m3 while PM10 levels were 167 µg/m3 against the safe limit of 100 µg/m3.
An AQI of 190 (moderate) has been predicted for Thursday, said SAFAR.