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Spike in pollution as Mumbai’s air quality back to ‘poor’ after a week

Researchers said pollution levels in Mumbai have been moving up and down due to fluctuating wind speed.

mumbai Updated: Dec 24, 2017 23:35 IST
Badri Chatterjee
Badri Chatterjee
Hindustan Times
mumbai,mumbai news,pollution
The System of Air Quality Weather Forecasting and Research (SAFAR) estimated AQI levels to fall back into the ‘moderate’ category on Monday with a predicted AQI of 133.(HT File Photo)

After a week of ‘moderate’ air quality, the city woke up on Sunday to a spike in pollution levels, with the air quality index (AQI) entering the ‘poor’ category at 203.

The System of Air Quality Weather Forecasting and Research (SAFAR) estimated AQI levels to fall back into the ‘moderate’ category on Monday with a predicted AQI of 133.

Researchers said pollution levels in Mumbai have been moving up and down due to fluctuating wind speed. “When wind speed picks up, air quality improves. However, with the slightest drop in speed, pollutant particles get suspended close to the surface. As per weather models, wind speed is expected to pick up, and moderate pollution is expected through the week,” said Gufran Beig, project director, SAFAR.

Last Sunday (December 17), AQI for Mumbai was 244 (poor) while Delhi recorded 204 (poor), making the financial capital’s air quality much worse. The air quality improved during rest of the week.

AQI levels for PM2.5 pollutant - small pollutant particles less than 2.5 microns in size that can easily enter the lungs and cause respiratory 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.

First Published: Dec 24, 2017 23:33 IST