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Mumbaiites, the air you breathe to remain ‘poor’ for the next four days

A marginal decline in pollution levels was recorded on Thursday, even as hazy conditions were witnessed.

mumbai Updated: Feb 09, 2018 00:57 IST
Badri Chatterjee
Badri Chatterjee
Hindustan Times
Mumbai,Mumbai news,air quality index
SAFAR pegged an AQI of 259 (poor) for Friday.(Vijayanand Gupta/HT Photo)

The city is likely to stay exposed to unhealthy air quality levels till Monday, said researchers, even as air pollution levels on Thursday continued to be under the ‘poor’ category for the eighth consecutive day.

Air quality experts attributed the decline in air quality in Mumbai to two weather systems. “Along with the withdrawal of the western disturbance over northern India, there has been a development of a convergent zone over western parts of the country, where winds from the Arabian Sea are meeting winds from the Indian Ocean. As a result, there has been a significant increase in moisture over parts of central and western India, which has increased the dust and pollutant carrying capacity in the air,” said Gufran Beig, project director, System of Air Quality Weather Forecasting and Research (SAFAR). “In Mumbai, calm winds are suspending pollutants closer to the surface during early hours of the day and late evenings.”

He added that air quality was slowly improving in Mumbai. “For the next three to four days, poor air quality will continue. However, it will be on the lower end of the category,” said Beig.

A marginal decline in pollution levels was recorded on Thursday, even as hazy conditions were witnessed. The air quality index (AQI) fell from 273 (poor) on Wednesday evening to 267 (poor) on Thursday morning, which further declined to 263 (poor) by the evening. SAFAR pegged an AQI of 259 (poor) for Friday.

AQI levels for PM2.5 pollutant - small pollutant particles that can easily enter the lungs and cause respiratory and cardiovascular illnesses - 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.

While pollution levels for particulate matter were twice the safe limit on Wednesday, levels fell on Thursday. As against a safe limit of 60 microgrammes per cubic metre (µg/m3) over 24 hours for PM2.5, Mumbai recorded levels at 111µg/m3. For PM10 – slightly larger coarser particles, Mumbai recorded 183µg/m3 against a safe limit of 100µg/m3.

For the third day in a row, Chembur recorded the cleanest air in Mumbai with an AQI of 98 (satisfactory). Six locations in Mumbai recorded ‘very poor’ AQI with Mazgaon being the most polluted, followed by Bhandup and Bandra Kurla Complex, Colaba, Navi Mumbai and Borivli, all recorded AQI levels above 300. Remaining areas recorded ‘poor’ air quality.

Meanwhile, the day temperature at the suburbs and south Mumbai was at the normal mark, but the night temperature was recorded above normal levels. The minimum temperature at Colaba was 21.5 degrees Celsius, 2.1 degree Celsius above normal while Santacruz recorded 18.2 degrees Celsius, a degree Celsius above normal.

Pollution levels in Mumbai

AQI on Thursday morning: 267 (poor)

AQI on Thursday evening: 263 (poor)

Predicted AQI for Friday: 259 (poor)

LocationAQI on ThursdayPredicted AQI for Friday
Mazgaon338 (very poor)334 (very poor)
Bhandup327 (very poor)270 (poor)
Bandra Kurla Complex327 (very poor)306 (very poor)
Colaba323 (very poor)304 (very poor)
Navi Mumbai316 (very poor)317 (very poor)
Borivli314 (very poor)305 (very poor)
Andheri230 (poor)336 (very poor)
Malad230 (poor)205 (poor)
Worli130 (moderate)120 (moderate)
Chembur98 (satisfactory)94 (satisfactory)

(All AQI levels are for PM2.5 pollutant by System of Air Quality Weather Forecasting and Research)

First Published: Feb 09, 2018 00:46 IST