Mumbai records cleanest air in 2017, clearest day in the past 2 years
Researchers said Mumbai generally observes clean air during the summer, but Wednesday’s AQI was exceptionally goodmumbai Updated: Apr 20, 2017 09:58 IST
Pollution levels in the city dropped to its lowest in 2017 so far, on Wednesday. As a result, the city recorded its cleanest air day for the year and one the most clearest days in the past two years.
According to the System of Air Quality Weather Forecasting and Research (SAFAR), AQI levels for particulate matter (PM2.5) pollutant — small pollutant particles of 2.5 micron size that can easily enter the respiratory system and cause ailments — were recorded under the ‘good’ category at 59. SAFAR predicted that pollution levels will further decrease to 53 on Thursday.
AQI levels between 0-100 fall under the ‘good’ category, 101-200 is ‘moderate’ and 201-300 is ‘poor’.
Additionally, levels of PM10 – slight larger pollutant particles with 10 micron size – were also recorded under the ‘good’ category at an AQI of 74, which is expected to remain the same on Thursday.
The last time Mumbai recorded AQI levels between 50 and 60 was during the monsoon season last year, when rain disperses pollutants.
Researchers from SAFAR said Mumbai generally observes clean air during the summer, but Wednesday’s AQI was exceptionally good. “The wind pattern over the city owing to the sea breeze and temperatures being above normal have forced the boundary layer of pollutants to be dispersed very fast during the early hours of the day,” said Gufran Beig, project director, SAFAR. “There was a significant improvement in visibility levels. We expect AQI levels to be in the ‘good’ category through the rest of the month.”
On Wednesday, nine of 10 locations recorded ‘good’ air quality and Navi Mumbai was the only spot that recorded ‘moderate’ air. Malad recorded the cleanest air in the city with an AQI of 34.
Citizens welcomed the clean air, but hoped the city observed similar air quality through the year. “While it is good that pollution levels have reduced significantly, it should remain constant throughout the year. This time last year, we were breathing toxic air owing to the Deonar fires,” said Rajkumar Sharma, Chembur resident. “The variation in the air quality through the year needs to be controlled.” .
Meanwhile, both day and night temperatures dropped to a degree Celsius above normal, both in the suburbs and south Mumbai on Wednesday, as compared to high temperatures on Tuesday.
First Published: Apr 19, 2017 21:41 IST