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Mumbai air quality turns ‘poor’, is worse than Delhi

Air quality index for Mumbai was 244 (classified as poor), while Delhi recorded 204 during the day that further fell to 183 (moderate) by the evening.

mumbai Updated: Dec 17, 2017 20:20 IST
HT Correspondent
HT Correspondent
Hindustan Times, Mumbai
Mumbai air quality,Mumbai pollution,Mumbai
The air quality in Mumbai turned ‘poor’ on Sunday.(HT File Photo)

For the first time this season and second time in a year, air pollution levels in Mumbai were worse than Delhi on Sunday.

The pollutant measuring indicator - air quality index (AQI) - for Mumbai was 244 (classified as poor), while Delhi recorded 204 during the day that further fell to 183 (moderate) by the evening, according to the System of Air Quality Weather Forecasting and Research (SAFAR). Pune and Ahmedabad recorded ‘moderate’ air quality on Sunday.

SAFAR predicted an AQI of 254 (poor) for Monday.

On December 10, Mumbai recorded an AQI of 240; it was 232 on November 29. On October 19 (Diwali), Mumbai had recorded poor AQI levels at 204 and 316 (very poor) on October 20, the worst this year. On March 13 this year, Mumbai had recorded an AQI of 312 (very poor) while Delhi recorded 105 (moderate).

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

Researchers said it was a typical scenario seen during this time of the year when these two cities are compared. “In spite of cold weather in Delhi, the wind speed is quite high, which dispersed majority of the pollutants. However, for Mumbai, temperatures are not low but owing high humidity and negligible wind speed, pollutants are not being dispersed from the city’s air. This is leading to haze formation during early morning hours and during the evening,” said Gufran Beig, project director, SAFAR.

“People sensitive to air pollution may experience health effects and the general public is less likely to be affected,” read the health statement. The concentration of PM2.5 was almost twice the safe limit. As against safe limit of 60 microgrammes per cubic metre (µg/m3), Mumbai recorded 109µg/m3. For PM10 (slightly larger, coarser particles), Mumbai recorded 188 µg/m3 as against 100 µg/m3 as the safe limit.

Beig added that Mumbai can expect current pollution levels to continue till Tuesday. “If wind speed picks up, then Mumbai can expect ‘moderate’ air quality from Wednesday onwards,” he said.

HT had reported in September that Mumbai had higher tinier, deadly pollutant particles in winter 2016 than Delhi. Ultrafine airborne particulate matter smaller than one micrometer (PM1) was 45 microgrammes per cubic metre (µg/m3) in Mumbai during December 2016 as against 42µg/m3 in Delhi, SAFAR had found.

First Published: Dec 17, 2017 20:19 IST